Eilidh Barbour wins Highland Golf Links Pro-Am in only all-female team

Broadcaster Eilidh Barbour led a women's team to victory in the Highland Golf Links 54-Hole Pro-Am at Castle Stuart, Nairn and Royal Dornoch.
Eilidh Barbour, foreground, with the other members of her winning team, from left, Cara Thompson, Heather MacRae and Iona ReidEilidh Barbour, foreground, with the other members of her winning team, from left, Cara Thompson, Heather MacRae and Iona Reid
Eilidh Barbour, foreground, with the other members of her winning team, from left, Cara Thompson, Heather MacRae and Iona Reid

The BBC and Sky Sports presenter joined forces with PGA pro Heather MacRae and amateurs Cara Thompson from Dornoch and Iona Reid from Nairn to finish four shots clear of the field in an event sponsored by Tomatin Whisky.

"Delighted," said Barbour of the success, which was secured with a team total of 272. "It was absolutely my priority to get an all-female team (the only one there) and I was pleased we were about to do that.

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"Over the week, we just dovetailed so well, with only one hole across the three days including a bogey score.

"Cara grew up on the links and has an amazing game for it while Iona absolutely bombs it off the tee but is such a composed player for her young age.

"We had a great time together, too, and got great weather! It was just a really nice event and we were made to feel so welcome by everyone from the clubs to the sponsors to the other teams."

A team led by individual winner Tom Higson and also comprising of Steve Hunter, Brian McGrorty and Paul Slatter finished second in an event that has become one of the highlights of the PGA in Scotland season.

"It’s always nice to win but being the only female team just shows the beauty of golf and how we can all play together, compete together and all have a part to play in the team itself regardless of experience and ability," added Barbour.

It was a winning debut in the tournament for MacRae, who recently made a successful defence of her WPGA title after winning a cancer battle last year.

"It was amazing," said the Dunblane woman. "We definitely lucked out with the weather and the courses were all incredible, which made for a nice escape from all the Covid goings on.

"I think it was different to the previous events with no social events, dinners, prize- givings etc but everyone was just very happy to be there and out golfing and following the arrows of one-way systems.

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"I am very grateful to the sponsors for still hosting the event when it would of been easy to just postpone until next year.

"Our team had such a great time and dovetailed probably as well as we could have and we quite enjoyed the taste of Tomatin at the halfway houses, so I might need to build that in to the new routine (laughing)."

Helped by a sensational 62 at Royal Dornoch, Higson posted a 19-under-par 194 total to claim a one-shot win in the individual pro event.Challenge Tour card holder Daniel Young finished second after he matched Higson's effort at Royal Dornoch in his closing circuit.Jonathan Grogan was third on 13-under, four shots ahead of fourth-placed Ryan O'Neill, with Chris Currie fifth on seven-under.

Neil Fenwick, who played in last week's Scottish Open in East Lothian, finished a further shot back in a share of sixth spot with Bradley Neil.

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