Bahamas-bound Grace Crawford 'excited' to tee up in Dunhill Links

Grace Crawford is rubbing shoulders with the stars in this week’s 20th Alfred Dunhill Links Championship before heading off to the Bahamas on a “dream” scholarship.

Grace Crawford tees off at the 18th hole on the Old Course at St Andrews on the opening day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images.

The 14-year-old from North Berwick secured a late spot in the European Tour pro-am, which sees some of the world’s top golfers join forces with sporting stars, pop singers, TV celebrities and money men.

Crawford, one of the rising stars in the Scottish amateur ranks, teamed up with Australian pro Jason Scrivener after being thrilled to get the opportunity, with the duo opening with a four-under 68 at St Andrews.

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“This was definitely a bonus as I wasn’t expecting it,” said a smiling Crawford afterwards. “When I got the call it was very exciting. I was actually playing in the Stephen Gallacher Foundation event up at Fairmont St Andrews.

“It was a shame to pull out of that, especially as I was leading by three shots after two rounds, but it was definitely worth it for this opportunity.

“It was around 5pm last night when I got the call, so it was worth it, and it was nice to open the curtain in my hotel room this morning and look out onto the 18th hole on the Old Course.

“I had played here once here before in the St Rule Trophy, but it was completely foggy, so it was nice to actually see the course this time as it’s always been a course I’ve wanted to play.

“The guys were good company and it was good golf as well. Overall, day one has definitely been a great experience and the highlight was probably my third shot on hole one, which we played as 10, as I almost holed out to save par.”

Grace Crawford is thrilled to have secured a spot in this week's event. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images.

Crawford has been mentored by two-time winning Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew as she’s come through the ranks of the North Berwick West Links Juniors, describing her as a “great role model”.

After this event, she’s heading to the Netherlands to represent Great Britain & Ireland in the Junior Vagliano Trophy before then teeing up in the R&A Girls’ Under-16 Championship at Enville.

The day after the latter finishes, Crawford will then jump on a plane to head across the Atlantic to start an exciting new chapter both from golfing perspective and educationally.

“I am off to the Bahamas on 24 October to Albany Golf Academy and Windsor High School and I am over the moon about that,” she said. “It is going to be such a good time out there.

“I’m going for four years until I finish high school. I will have a half day of school then a half day of golf every day - it sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?”

Albany Golf Club is where the Hero World Challenge, hosted by Tiger Woods, has been held in recent years while Justin Rose was also based there with his family for a spell.

“Justin used to be coached by John Hearn, who will also be my new coach soon. It is all very exciting and I can’t wait to get out there,” said Crawford.

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