Golf: Much to take heart from Troon for Lothians trio

LOTHIANS trio Jane Turner, Rachael Watton and Gabrielle MacDonald all came away from the Helen Holm Scottish Ladies Open Stroke Play Championship at Troon with a spring in their golf shoes.

While Northern Ireland's Danielle McVeigh lifted the title with a 54-hole aggregate of 215, Turner, Watton and MacDonald all achieved their individual targets. Maintaining the form that had earned a second success British Universities' title triumph in the build up to the event, Turner shot rounds of 74, 72 and 74 to earn a share of ninth spot.

"My aim was to shoot three rounds under par and I'm happy to have done that," said the Craigielaw player.

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In the final round over Royal Troon, Turner was two-under after four thanks to birdies at the second and fourth before hitting a "dreadful run" around the turn. She dropped shots at the sixth and seventh before running up a double-bogey – "it came out of nothing after I had driven into a bunker" – at the ninth. But, coming back, she followed a birdie at the 14th with a superb eagle-3 at the next, where an 8-iron to six feet set up the opportunity.

Watton's closing 72, which earned her a share of 11th, was the second best round on the Open Championship course. It was a 12-stroke improvement on her closing round in the same event last year and underlined why the 17-year-old Mortonhall player is rated so highly by her coach, Spencer Henderson. Out in two-over, Watton bagged five birdies coming home, the pick of them coming at the 17th, where she holed from 15 feet.

Playing in the event for the first time, fellow 17-year-old MacDonald closed with an equally fine 75 to finish on 230.

For the third round running, she signed off with a bogey but the Trinity Academy pupil, who won the Scottish Junior Masters last year, was rightly proud of her effort alongside the top amateurs in Britain and Ireland.

"I've been doing quite a bit of work in the gym and also feel I've added a bit of distance thanks to the work I'm doing with my coach, Kevin Craggs," said MacDonald.

At nearby Glasgow Gailes, her clubmate, Mark Hillson, led the Lothians challenge in the Edward Trophy, a Scottish Order of Merit event. The former Lothians champion shot rounds of 69, 75, 67 and 76 to finish fifth behind Peterhead's Philip McLean, with Grant Forrest (287), Allyn Dick (293), Sean McGarvey (298) and Zander Culverwell (299) the other Lothians players to make the cut.

• CATRIONA MATTHEW and her Scotland team-mate Krystle Caithness closed with a 70 to secure seventh spot in the European Nations Cup in Spain, where they finished ahead of Wales, England and Ireland. Sweden lifted the title for the first time after beating Australia in a play-off.