Kelsey MacDonald ready to fly flag for Scotland

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WHILE the host nation will be out to complete another clean sweep in the second World Ladies Championship starting tomorrow at Mission Hills in southern China, Scotland also look to have a strong representation.

The unique event, with its three-in-one format and prizes for the individual professional, amateur and team events, is the fourth tournament on this year’s Ladies European Tour.

Being a bit different to the regular fare, it’s an exciting opportunity for Stirling University students Kelsey MacDonald and Eilidh Briggs.

They’re flying the flag for Scotland in the amateur event, while two fairly recent products of the non-paid ranks in the home of golf, two-times Ladies European Tour winner Carly Booth and Kylie Walker, are bidding to land the professional prizes.

MacDonald, the 2010 Scottish Women’s champion, is planning to join the professional ranks this year, having given a good account of herself in this season’s LET Qualifying School before winning the Jones-Docherty Women’s Amateur on the Orange Blossom circuit in the United States.

“I’m very happy with my start to 2013 and now looking forward to the challenges ahead,” said the 22-year-old Nairn Dunbar player. “Being a member of the Elite Player Academy will bring something else to my game as I strive to reach my goal.

“I know that my golf is good enough to be at the top but talent alone won’t get me there. I need help for the next step and that’s where the academy will come in.

“With my plan to turn professional at some point this year, I am also very excited and honoured to be part of the Robert Rock Academy. It’s more with hands-on advice, and mentoring and their knowledge that they hope to help me succeed at the next level.”

MacDonald’s rivals include China’s defending champion Jing Yan, while Booth and Walker are up against some of the world’s top players, including fourth-ranked Korean Inbee Park, Chinese world No 5 Shanshan Feng and Norway’s eighth-ranked Suzann Pettersen.