Women's Scottish Open: Gemma Dryburgh no longer 'daunted' on LPGA Tour

Gemma Dryburgh no longer feels like a fish out of water in LPGA Tour events and the top-ranked home player would love to hammer that message home in this week’s Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open at Dumbarnie Links.

Gemma Dryburgh, pictured during last yar's event, is feeling confident about her game heading into this week's Trust Golf Women's Scottish Open at Dumbarnie Links. Picture: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images.
Gemma Dryburgh, pictured during last yar's event, is feeling confident about her game heading into this week's Trust Golf Women's Scottish Open at Dumbarnie Links. Picture: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images.

At one point during a tough rookie season in 2018 - it started with nine successive missed cuts - the Aberdonian found herself wondering if she was out of her depth on the strongest circuit in the women’s game.

Slowly but surely, though, Dryburgh has found her feet and, buoyed by a hat-trick of wins on UK soil in the Rose Ladies Series, she’s heading into this week’s £1.1 event feeling more confident than ever about her game.

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“That first year, it was really tough and it was daunting going from LET to LPGA and seeing people I had watched on TV for so long,” admitted the 28-year-old, who is flying the Saltire on the Fife coast along with Carly Booth, Kylie Henry, Kelsey MacDonald, Alison Muirhead and Michele Thomson.

“But, since then, I feel much more comfortable out here and that year helped me a lot, really, because I knew I needed to improve a few things and kind of feel like I'm getting there now.”

While she has since improved on that effort, having tied for sixth in the LPGA Drive-On Championship in Ohio just over a year ago, her confidence was boosted by finishing just outside the top 20 in the Pure Silk Championship in Virginia in the middle of the 2019 campaign.

“I started to believe that I belonged out here,” added Dryburgh, who is based in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire. “I think gradually that year I got more and more confident and along with my caddie, Paul, we realised we kind of just were a really good team.”

Having already landed victories at The Buckinghamshire and Royal St George’s, Dryburgh completed her hat-trick of success in the Rose Ladies Series, the circuit set up by Justin Rose and his wife to provide playing opportunities for UK-based professionals, at JCB Golf & Country Club in Uttoxeter last week.

“It was amazing,” said Dryburgh of her latest victory, having also triumphed by seven shots in a mini-tour event in Florida earlier in the year. “My dad, John, was on the bag and it was special for us to be together while mum was watching as well.

“It was great to get the job done and I have a lot of confidence in my game. I played really well a fortnight ago in Northern Ireland, where I was tied for lead after the first round, then took that momentum into the Rose Series. Everything is working well, so hopefully I can do well this week.”

Dryburgh, who is hoping to get her hands on the inaugural Jock MacVicar Trophy for the leading home player, is among a number of players in the field to instantly fall in love with Dumbarnie Links, which was designed by former Ryder Cup player Clive Clark.

“It’s really nice, having been built on a fantastic piece of land,” she said. “A good mix of holes and in really good nick, as well, especially for being only 18 months old or so. So I really like it.”

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