Twenty-seven years after Matthew landed the title at the East Lothian club, 17-year-old Darling sets out tomorrow in her bid to emulate the feat at a venue she has become familiar with over the past 12 months.
While her home club is Broomieknowe, where she came through the junior ranks, Darling joined Gullane at the end of the Covid-19 lockdown last year and will now be aiming to use her visits there to good effect.
“The facilities at Gullane are amazing, as are the courses all year round,” said Darling’s coach, Ian Muir. “We changed it up a bit so that she could play more on links turf.
“She is so used to playing parkland golf at Broomieknowe, but there are so many competitions on links course, so we felt we needed a change. She’s taken to that like a duck to water and she is super-excited about this week.”
Curtis Cup contender Darling heads a strong field that also includes 2015 champion Clara Young (North Berwick) and Lorna McClymont (Milngavie), who finished second and third respectively in the St Rule Trophy.
Also in the field are 2019 runner-up Chloe Goadby (St Regulus), Hazel MacGarvie (Royal Troon) and Shannon McWilliam (Aboyne), as well as East Lothian champion Tara MacTaggart, 16-year-old Midlothian title winner Freya Constable and North Berwick champion Grace Crawford.