Hannah Darling has a Curtis Cup dilemma

Catriona Matthew says clash of events is ‘disappointing’ for rising Scottish golf star Hannah

Hannah Darling played in the Junior Solheim Cup at Gleneagles last year

Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew is “disappointed” that rising Scottish star Hannah Darling is facing a huge dilemma next season.

It follows the Curtis Cup, which was cancelled this year due to Covid-19, being rescheduled for the same weekend as the Solheim Cup next September.

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The new date has left the biennial clash between Great Britain & Ireland’s women amateurs and their US counterparts as a big target for Broomieknowe player Darling.

But, making the team for the match at Conwy in north Wales would rule her out of a second appearance in the Junior Solheim Cup.

Darling was among six young Scots who attended the 2017 Solheim Cup in Des Moines as part of #Project19.Their aim was to motivate each other in a bid to play in the Junior Solheim Cup at Gleneagles two years later – and it was mission accomplished for Darling.

Though unable to prevent a US victory, the two-time Scottish Girls’ champion was one of the stars in Mickey Walker’s European team as they went down fighting in Perthshire.

“Actually, I tweeted about how disappointed I was this was happening,” said Matthew of the date clash now looming next September.

“Susan Simpson from the R&A was good enough to call me and said that was the only date they had available. Potentially, it could be a really tough decision for Hannah. I don’t think she should be put in this position. And it could affect a few Americans, too.”

Darling, who underlined her potential when winning the inaugural R&A Girls’ Under-16 Championship at Fulford two years ago, said the clash was “annoying” as “it would have been nice to get to play both”.

But the she added: “For me, as I have already played in the Junior Solheim Cup, I am leaning towards the Curtis Cup – if I’m selected.”

With Scottish Golf having scrapped its entire 2020 schedule, Darling’s biggest problem in what is left of this season is finding some tournaments to play in.

The Women’s Amateur Championship is taking place at West Lancashire in August while she has also entered the Stephen Gallacher Foundation Matchplay event at Castle Park earlier in the month.

“I’m really excited to hopefully have the opportunity to play some tournaments again,” she said. “I have heard great things about West Lancashire, so I’m really looking forward to the challenge in the Women’s Amateur.

“Leading up to that, I’m trying to play some club medals at Broomieknowe to get used to having a scorecard in my hand again, and I am looking at the possibility of playing a few competitions around Scotland as well.”

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