Round Up: Gabrielle Macdonald set for LET debut in South Africa

Gabrielle Macdonald is excited to be among eight Scots teeing up in the Investec South African Women's Open in Cape Town. Picture: Kevin Kirk
Gabrielle Macdonald is excited to be among eight Scots teeing up in the Investec South African Women's Open in Cape Town. Picture: Kevin Kirk
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Gabrielle Macdonald is excited about making her Ladies European Tour debut in this week’s Investec South African Women’s Open after getting off to an encouraging start in the professional ranks.

But the Craigielaw player is not allowing herself to be distracted by some tasty bonuses up for grabs at Westlake Golf Club in Cape Town as she lines up alongside seven other Scots in the £105,000 event.

Macdonald, a former Scottish Women’s champion and runner-up in that tournament on two occasions, heads into the biggest test of her new career so far in good fettle after producing a string of confidence-boosting results on the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

She teed off her stint in South Africa by finishing joint-sixth in the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am before claiming 14th spot in the South African Women’s Masters.

The East Lothian star then finished third behind compatriot Jane Turner in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge and, in her most recent outing, was top Scot in 13th in the Cape Town Ladies Open.

“I’m having a good time and have been doing pretty well out here,” said Macdonald in a pre-tournament interview for this week’s 54-hole event.

“This is my first LET event, so I am looking forward to that. The course at Westlake is really nice. It is quite tight, so hitting fairways is going to be the key.”

In addition to a decent cheque, the winner on Saturday will secure an exemption for the rest of the season on the LET, as well as starts in two majors – the AIG British Women’s Open and the Evian Championship.

“There’s lots to play for this week, but I’m not thinking about that too much at the moment,” added Macdonald. “I’ve just got to go out there and see what I can do.”

Also flying the Saltire in Cape Town are Turner, a rejuvenated Carly Booth, Kelsey Macdonald, Michele Thomson, Kylie Henry, Kelsey Macdonald, Laura Murray and Hannah McCook.

For McCook, it’s her first LET event as a professional and she, too, will have been encouraged by how she’s been playing on the Sunshine Tour over the past few weeks.

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A closing six-under-par 66 - one of the best rounds of the day - secured a top-15 finish for Scott Henry in the Royal Golf Bahrain Open on the MENA Tour.

The sparkling effort from the former European Tour player contained an eagle and four birdies, earning him a share of 14th spot on five-under.

Frenchman Robin Roussel completed a wire-to-wire win, though a closing 73 just got the job done as he finished a shot ahead of English duo James Allan and Joshua Grenville-Wood.

Danny Kay, who had a hole-in-one in the opening round, finished joint-28th on three-under, a shot ahead Bradley Neil and four better than Daniel Hendry.

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Ex-Scottish Amateur champion Barry Hume and former European Tour Order of Merit winner Ronan Rafferty both suffered second-round defeats in the Sunningdale Foursomes.

Haggs Castle man Hume and his partner for the event, Hannah Burke, went down 3&2 to Tracey Boyes and Sam Boyes.

Rafferty, who is attached to The Renaiassance Club these days, and his son Jonathan, a Sunningdale member, lost 2&1 to Philip Ridden and A J Dixon.

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Three-time US Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Sarah LeBrun Ingram has been named captain of the 2020 USA Curtis Cup team.

Ingram, who played in the biennial event in 1992, 1994 and 1996, will lead the Americans in their defence of the trophy at Conwy in Wales.