Kylie Henry won’t mind staying in a hotel in Glasgow this week rather than her home in the city to be part of history as the AIG Women’s British Open is held at Royal Troon for the first time.
The 33-year-old secured her spot alongside former winner Catriona Matthew, Gemma Dryburgh, Carly Booth and Michele Thomson in the first women’s major of 2020 on the strength of a great week’s work in the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open.
It was mission accomplished for Henry in that respect after the third round at The Renaissance Club, having opened with efforts of 71-75-69 to join Thomson in being among 22 players to earn berths up for grabs in the R&A event on the Ayrshire coast.
Buoyed by that, the two-time LET winner signed off with a three-under-par 68 – one of the best rounds of the day – to finish joint 12th on one under behind American Stacy Lewis.
Henry claimed the honour of both leading Scot and leading UK player in the strongest field for the event, earning just over $25,000 and, equally important to her, that return to
“I played Troon a lot as an amateur,” said Henry. “We played the Helen Holm Trophy every year, so I have great memories of playing there, but I actually haven’t played it now for about 11 years or so. I’m really excited to be playing the British Open. I think this will be my seventh in a row. I’m quite happy with that and looking forward to it.”
Henry lives in Milngavie with her husband, Challenge Tour card holder Scott, but she is set to be part of a “bio-bubble” in a hotel with other players and caddies for the event.
“My brother, who is caddying for me, has flown in from Dubai and he can’t come out of that bubble to stay with me in my home next week,” she said. “If he’s going to be staying in the hotel and sharing a car, I’m just going to stay with him in the hotel. That sort of makes the most sense I think.
“Scott, was saying, ‘you’re going to be less than five miles from me and I’m not going to get to see you’. It’s a funny one. To be honest, I’ll do anything to play in the tournament. To go and stay in a hotel, it’s hardly punishment.”
The Scot’s closing salvo in East Lothian contained five birdies, three early on then two either side of a bogey on the back nine.
“I played solid and I bounced back every time I made a mistake. I’m really happy with my game and how I played,” she said, having admitted she’d benefited from her warm-up in the first event on Paul Lawrie’s new Tartan Pro Tour at Carnoustie.
After a tough weekend, Dryburgh and Thomson, the other home players to make the cut at The Renaissance Club, finished on 15 over and 18 over respectively.