A decade after winning the men’s equivalent for the first time, Scotland are heading into this week’s Women’s World Amateur Team Championship with a side that looks capable of making an impact at Carton House in Ireland.
Emulating that success recorded by Wallace Booth, Gavin Dear and Callum Macaulay in the Eisenhower Trophy event in Australia may be a tall order, but getting in the Espirito Santo Trophy medal mix will definitely be a target for a trio comprising of Connie Jaffrey (Troon Ladies), Hannah McCook (Grantown-on-Spey)and Shannon McWilliam (Aboyne).
They have already tasted team success in Ireland this year, having been part of the Scotland side that won the Women’s Home Internationals for the first time in eight years at Ballybunion earlier this month.
McCook, pictured, also won the Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play Championship at Co Louth earlier in the year, claiming that individual success a week after she had also triumphed in the Welsh equivalent.
“We are all excited to be back in Ireland after a very successful week here a couple of weeks ago,” said McCook. “The courses are both in brilliant condition and we look forward to playing in such a prestigious event. Preparations have gone well, so we are excited to get started.”
Jaffrey, the 2017 Scottish Women’s champion, added: “We are feeling well prepared and confidence is at a high leading from a great victory at Ladies Home Internationals. This is one of the best teams we have had for a few years, so we have the chance to make this week special.”
The event, which features a record 57 teams, two more than in Mexico in 2016, sees Korea bid to maintain their recent dominance, having landed the title three times in the last four stagings and also being the defending champions.
Ireland, the hosts this time around, were bronze medallists two years ago, when Olivia Mehaffey and Annabel Wilson were in the team and they are being joined on this occasion by Paula Grant, who played in Japan in 2014.
McWilliam is among eight players from this year’s Curtis Cup competing, the others including Sophie Lamb and Annabel Fuller, two of England’s representatives along with Hollie Muse.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for all these players because, for the most part, it will be the strongest field they will have played in and a world championships is the ultimate test in any sport,” said Scottish Golf’s new performance director, Clare Queen. “We look forward to testing ourselves against the best.”
While the majority of the players taking part are up-and-coming youngsters, that is certainly not the case with Guatemala. Easily the oldest competitor in the field, 70-year-old Beatriz Arenasis making her 11th appearance in the biennial event as a player or a captain
The men’s event takes place at the same venue next week, when Scotland will be represented by Ryan Lumsden (Royal Wimbledon), Euan Walker (Barassie) and Sandy Scott (Nairn).