Pamela Prestwell so glad she switched from tennis

Pamela Pretswell, the Hamilton golfer who might have become the Andy Murray of the female tennis world, says she has no regrets at turning her back on the sport seven years ago when she was 15 and was Scotland's top-ranked girl player.

Speaking at Carnoustie where the Bothwell Castle GC member is one of six amateurs in the field for the Ricoh British Women's Open championship, the 22-year-old business and management degree graduate from Glasgow University said: "Giving up tennis was the best decision I ever made.

"To be as dedicated to a career in tennis as Andy Murray was, I would have had to give up the idea of going to university, completing an education and having a life.

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"I turned my attentions to golf because I knew I could play and practise golf and still get a university education. And seven years later I had won the British women's open amateur stroke-play championship and played for Great Britain and Ireland in the Curtis Cup and Vagliano Trophy, so I have absolutely no regrets at all.

"I have not swung a tennis racket again since the day I walked away from the sport."

It was winning last year's British stroke-play title at Tenby in South Wales that clinched Pretswell a place in the Ricoh Women's British Open this week.

And even though she had to withdraw from last Saturday's final round of the European women's amateur championship in the Netherlands there was never any doubt that she would be there when her name is called on the first tee at Carnoustie tomorrow. "I have a tendency to get blisters on my feet and I had them last week in Holland," said Pretswell. "I had them lanced but it would have been too painful to play in the last round. I could have finished in the top 20, maybe better, but it would have been too sore.

"Different story this week, of course, I would have crawled on to the first tee if I had had to, blisters or no blisters and taken ten hours to get round if need be."

Pretswell, whose father William is her caddie, added: "I've looked forward to the Ricoh British Women's Open championship since the day last August I knew I had won a place in the field by winning the British stroke-play. Carnoustie is quite simply the best course I have ever played.

"There is no easy shot or easy hole on the course. It just doesn't give you a break and that's the way I like it. The tougher the course, the better I like it.

"And I'm right in the mood for this week. I'm just come off the best bucket of balls I've probably ever hit on a practice range."

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