Women's Scottish Open: Kelsey MacDonald 'really happy' with strong start

Inspired by seeing compatriot Michele Thomson sitting at the top of the leaderboard before heading out, Kelsey MacDonald produced an equally-impressive opening effort in the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open in tougher afternoon conditions at Dumbarnie Links.

Kelsey MacDonald opened with a brilliant bogey-free four-under 68 in the tougher afternoon conditions at Dumbarnie Links in the Trust Golf Women's Scottish Open. Picture: Tristan Jones/LET
Kelsey MacDonald opened with a brilliant bogey-free four-under 68 in the tougher afternoon conditions at Dumbarnie Links in the Trust Golf Women's Scottish Open. Picture: Tristan Jones/LET

With the wind whipping across the Fife course, the 30-year-old from Nairn had good reason to feel pleased with a bogey-free four-under-par 68 that left her also sitting in the top 10 at the end of the best day by far for home players in the event since it became co-sanctioned by the LET and LPGA.

“Really happy,” said MacDonald of her day’s work, having birdied the second and 10th before illuminating her card with an eagle-3 at the 15th, where she only had an 8-iron for her approach and rolled in an 18-footer.

“Just hit it great off the tee, gave myself chances, holed out very well, stuck to my process, didn’t really do anything wrong and didn’t make a bogey. Really solid golf out there in those conditions.

“Delighted with it, but also seeing Michele’s name on the scoreboard, it was really good to see a Scot up there when I teed off.”

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While most of the players in this week’s field are getting their first look at the Clive Clark-designed course, that isn’t the case with MacDonald

“My sponsor, Robin McGeachy from Peak Scientific, he’s a kind of a member here, so I’ve played quite a lot of golf here and I played the pro-am with him. I just feel really comfortable round here. It’s very good,” said the former Scottish Women’s champion.

“I would say some of the greens funnel into areas which gives you an opportunity to hole some putts. It’ll take time to settle in because it’s so new, quite generous off the tee, but just because it’s a new course. It’s a great challenge when you’ve got the wind and stuff.”

MacDonald is not yet in the field for next’s AIG Women’s Open at Carnoustie, so has her sights on one of the five spots up for grabs in this event. Failing that, she’ll be involved in the 18-hole final qualifier at Panmure on Monday for the season’s final major.

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“I’d love to play at Carnoustie, so we’ll see what happens,” said the Scot, who has been hearted by top-15 finishes in the two Aramco Series individual events at The Centurion Club and Sotogrande over the past few weeks.

“The final round at Sotogrande was really windy and, knowing it was going to be windy today, I got a lot of confidence from that final round last week,” she said.

“I’ve got my friend George Twyman on the bag and we’ve done a few tournaments now. We make a great team and it makes things so much easier, hitting the shots and getting on with it. He plays in Asia, but they’re closed down because of Covid, so I’ve got a good deal out of that.”

Like Thomson, MacDonald has yet to win on the LET, but her confidence is definitely growing and testing herself against the best is something she is relishing more all the time.

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“When you play good golf in a really good field, you definitely get confidence from that and it also helps your world ranking go up,” she said.

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