Two Scots – Connie Jaffrey and Shannon McWilliam – have been named in a 14-strong squad that is likely to provide the eight players for Great Britain & Ireland’s Curtis Cup defence on US soil next year.
While delighted to lead the home side to an 11½-8½ win at Dun Laoghaire in Ireland last year, the one disappointment for captain Elaine Farquharson-Black was that her side was Scot-free.
Re-appointed for the match at Quaker Ridge, New York, the Aberdeen lawyer will be hoping that unfortunate scenario isn’t repeated next June and both Jaffrey, pictured right, and McWilliam will certainly have been heartened by making this initial squad.
Jaffrey, a 21-year-old Troon Ladies member, displayed an impressive short game in winning the Scottish Women’s Championship earlier this year and has now claimed three title triumphs on the US college circuit playing for Kansas State.
One of five teenagers in the squad, 18-year-old Aboyne player McWilliam has been highly-rated since topping the Scottish Ladies Order of Merit in 2015. She also finished runner-up in this year’s Helen Holm Championship at Troon.
The hopefuls are headed by world No 1 Leona Maguire, one of three members of the winning 2016 team along with fellow Irish player Olivia Mehaffey and England’s Alice Hewson. “We have identified a talented group of golfers,” said Farquharson-Black.
On the men’s front, former Scottish Open champion Justin Rose maintained his strong end-of-year form by carding a 10-under 62 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Indonesian Masters in Jakarta. The Englishman signed for 10 birdies in a flawless effort at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, where American Brandt Snedeker, the other big name playing in the $750,000 event, had to settle for a 72.
Elsewhere, Scottish trio Clarke Lutton (-3), Ewen Ferguson (-2) and Craig Ross (-1) all broke par to sit handily placed after the first round of the Alps Tour Qualifying School final at La Cala in Spain.