Bronte Law set her sights on a debut Solheim Cup appearance at Gleneagles next September after continuing to catch captain Catriona Matthew’s eye by winning the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School in Morocco.
The 23-year-old English player rounded off a polished performance in the Lalla Aicha event in Marrakech by carding a closing 67 at Amelkis Golf Club for a tournament record 26-under-par total in the 90-hole marathon.
Law, who picked up five points out of five when helping Great Britain & Ireland win the 2016 Curtis Cup in Ireland, finished a shot ahead of Swede Linnea Strom, while the three other Category 5c cards were claimed by German amateur Esther Henseleit, England’s Sian Evans and Leona Maguire of Ireland.
Scottish amateurs Alison Muirhead and Rachael Taylor both missed out on a Category 8 card by a single shot, along with Vikki Laing, leaving them having to settle for Category 9b if they decide to join the circuit. The same applies to Hannah McCook, who also entered as an amateur, after she qualified for the final round, and Jane Turner as well.
It was Law’s week and, having finished 37th in the LPGA Tour’s Race to CME Globe this year, the Stockport woman has emerged as a real contender to make Matthew’s side for that Solheim Cup contest in Perthshire.
“That’s something that I really want to be a part of,” acknowledged Law as she savoured a success that was set up by a course record-equalling 10-under-par 62 in the third round, an effort that saw her make nine birdies in a row.
“I love team golf, always have, and there’s something about match play that I really enjoy. It will absolutely be my goal next year to make sure that I’m on that team.”
Having watched the likes of Charley Hull and Georgia Hall become Solheim Cup players in recent years, Matthew admitted she will be keeping a close eye on Law as the race for 12 spots unravels in 2019.
“It was great to see Bronte commit to going to Q School and, furthermore, have such a successful week,” said the North Berwick woman. “She has been on my radar for selection for a while now and playing this week shows her commitment to the LET and as a consequence of that being eligible to represent Europe at Gleneagles next year.
“There’s usually one or two new ones breakthrough and Bronte had a good year in 2018 on the LPGA. She has a great amateur record in matchplay, winning all five of her games in the 2016 Curtis Cup and is only the second player to achieve that feat in the event I believe. She’s a real gritty player.
“Anne Van Dam is also on the radar after winning two events in Spain this year. Every two years there’s always someone new. It was Georgia two years ago and Charley a few years ago.”
Five players will qualify automatically from the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, three will do likewise off the LET points list, leaving Matthew with four wildcards, which are set to be announced around the time of Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club next August.
“At the moment there are a lot of possibilities but six months is a long time in golf and we will see who is in form then,” added Matthew, just the second Scot to captain Europe after Dale Reid, who served a double stint in 2000 and 2002. “The core of the team will end up being fairly similar. It usually is and there will be a few for us to debate.”
Maguire holed a 15-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole to beat Swede Sarah Nilsson for the fifth and final Category 5c card. “I’m delighted,” said the 24-year-old, another player who will be aiming to get in the mix for the Solheim Cup. “I knew going into the play-off that that one spot would make a huge difference for next year. It will be good to get my first year under my belt and see where that takes me.”