Kelsey MacDonald off to strong start in season-ending LET event

Kelsey MacDonald reckons her patience is starting to be rewarded as she bids to emulate close friend Amy Boulden by becoming a first-time winner on the Ladies European Tour in 2020.

Kelsey MacDonald on her way to an opening four-under-par 68 in the Andalucía Costa Del Sol Open De Espana at Real Club De Golf Guadalmina. Picture: Tristan Jones

The former Scottish Women’s champion from Nairn finished in a tie for eighth in the Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic at the start of the month before ending up in the top 40 in the inaugural Aramco Saudi Ladies International.

Now MacDonald is off to a promising start in the final event of the LET season, Andalucía Costa Del Sol Open De Espana at Real Club De Golf Guadalmina.

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She carded a bogey-free four-under-par 68 to sit one off the clubhouse lead, held by Finland’s Sanna Nuutinen, before play was suspended for the day due to rain.

“I only missed one green today, so hitting 17 greens in regulation always helps, as does being bogey-free,” said MacDonald.

“I played solid tee to green and holed out really well, so I am happy with four-under.”

On the weather, she added with a smile: “I was thinking to myself that I’d gone home a week earlier than planned! But I was actually very surprised how well the course stood up to the rain.”

Welsh star Boulden landed her breakthrough LET title triumph in the Swiss Ladies Open in September, and MacDonald is hoping her game is trending in the same direction.

“It’s been more patience than anything,” she said of her encouraging finish to the season. “I know my game has been there or thereabouts. It’s just been trying to get over that line and it’s just about trusting my full game.

“Having a regular caddie has also been a massive help. My friend, George Twyman, has been on the bag and having that consistency has been a huge addition.

“He plays in Asia but, because of Covid, he hasn’t been able to compete so it’s worked out well for me.”

Kylie Henry (par), Gemma Dryburgh (three-over) and Michele Thomson (six-over) also completed their rounds before play was halted for the day.

But Alison Muirhead (one-over) and Laura Murray (three-over) are among those facing an early return on Friday morning to finish their opening circuit.

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