A special fund has been set up to give Scotland’s top young female players the best opportunity possible to be involved in this year’s PING Junior Solheim Cup at Gleneagles.
The £9,000 pot has been established by the 2019 Solheim Cup Golf Development programme and Scottish Golf in a bid to support the likes of Hannah Darling.
The 15-year-old Broomieknowe player was the first beneficiary of the fund as she competed in last week’s Portuguese Amateur Championship, grabbing that opportunity with a top-20 finish.
“I was fortunate enough to be part of the Project19 group who got to experience the 2017 Solheim Cup from inside the ropes and this opportunity confirmed my ambition of one day competing in the event myself,” said Darling.
“It has been an exciting couple of years since then and I am hugely grateful to Scottish Golf for their continued support. This new fund will help me compete across Europe as I look to qualify for Team Europe at the PING Junior Solheim Cup.
“To be part of such a big event on home soil would be an incredible experience and I am working hard to ensure that I can achieve this goal.”
The European team will be captained by former Solheim Cup captain Mickey Walker and will see 12 of the best young female players in Europe take on their American counterparts. To be eligible, players must be aged 12-18 years old, having reached their 18th birthday as of 1 January 1, 2019. The team will be comprised of six qualifiers from the PING Junior Solheim Cup rankings as well as a further six captain’s picks.
“With Gleneagles hosting the PING Junior Solheim Cup in 2019, we are keen to ensure that we have Scottish representation in the European team and today’s announcement marks our commitment to supporting the next cohort of female golfers that would benefit massively from an opportunity like this,” said Scottish Golf CEO Andrew McKinlay.
“We are delighted to be working closely with our partners at the 2019 Solheim Cup Golf Development Group ahead of this year’s event and thank them for their support with our
fund aimed at supporting the country’s top female junior golfers in qualifying for the PING Junior Solheim Cup.”
Joe FitzPatrick, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing, added: “This collaboration between the Solheim Cup Golf Development Group and Scottish Golf is a wonderful demonstration of the opportunity the Solheim Cup is giving us to support Scottish junior players and create a lasting legacy from the event.
“I wish Hannah and all our juniors vying for a qualifying position, the very best of luck in the coming months.”