Who is Alison Muirhead: the new Scot on Ladies European Tour in 2020?

She was born in Johannesburg and lives in Dubai, but Alison Muirhead is proud to be flying the Saltire as she prepares to start her new career as a fully-fledged Ladies European Tour card holder.

Alison Muirhead came through two stages of the Qualifying School in Spain to secure her 2020 card.

Having passed a gruelling nine-round test in two stages of the Qualifying School in Spain last month, the 21-year-old is among six Scots in the field for this week’s season-opener, the Geoff King Motors Australian Ladies Classic.

“I am still trying to take it in - it’s so surreal,” said Muirhead, who joins Laura Murray, Gemma Dryburgh, Kylie Henry, Kelsey MacDonald and Michele Thomson in getting the 2020 campaign up and running at Bonville Golf Resort on the Coffs Coast, of her new status.

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“I have been working hard on my game and, with ever-improving results, I decided to turn pro at the beginning of 2020. I am now delighted to have been given the opportunity to play the LET this year, playing side by side with some of the best golfers in the world which hopefully will allow me to grow as a player.

“I am super-excited to take on this challenge and test my game whilst playing in so many different countries. I hope to keep learning and moving forward. This is only the beginning of my professional golfing journey.”

Muirhead lived in South Africa until she was eight before moving to Dubai. But, through regular visits to Scotland, there was only one country she was ever going to represent in the Royal & Ancient game.

“My dad, Robert, who is from South Queensferry, always took us back to Scotland every year, I love the country and the people. I played a lot of golf there and I am very proud to be of Scottish heritage,” said the former Dubai netball team captain.

“My grandad, Hamish Muirhead, was born in Paisley. My great-great grandfather was a captain at Troon Golf Club and I have been given, by my grandad, a medal he won in a competition there, which I cherish.”

After winning the first stage at La Manga, Muirhead finished third behind Amy Boulden of Wales and Argentina’s Magdalena Simmermacher in the Q School final at the same venue, where she was supported throughout by her English-born mother, Jill.

“My father introduced me to golf,” she added. “In the first instance on the driving range, where I enjoyed trying to hit the ball hard, then the par-3 course and, once good enough, on to the main courses.

“I was very fortunate when I started playing golf as the weather in Dubai was always good, albeit very hot in the summer. I would play with my father and thereafter was also involved in the girls/ladies golf competitions organised by the UAE golf federation.

“Today I do the majority of my golf training at Jumeirah Golf Estates, who have given me great support, and in the summer when not playing in competitions I spend time in Scotland training/playing at Archerfield and playing at Bruntsfield.”

Muirhead, who broke her foot in 2017 and had her season disrupted by a “floating” bone before it healed, is starting out on the LET at a good time, with this season’s rejuvenated schedule through a new partnership with the LPGA being made up of 25 events in 18 countries.

“The changes are positive already for female golf,” she said. “There will be more opportunities to play with more tournaments already this year on the calendar and the purse in the events is starting to grow. The new structure can only make the tour go from strength to strength.

“As for my goals for the 2020 season, they are personal. I write them down at the beginning of the year and work towards them as the year goes on. I judge my performance through scores and statistics at events and let these guide me forward. So goals can move with performance throughout the year.”