Saturday, May 21, 2011


Louise and Eilidh (Courtesy of Colin Farquharson) - Click to enlarge
It was third time lucky for Dunfermline schoolteacher Louise Kenney in the final of the 97th Scottish women’s amateur golf championship at Machrihanish links on the Kintyre peninsula today (Saturday).
Actually, luck did not come into it at all.
On a morning of foul weather wind and rain – the 28-year-old Pitreavie Golf Club member hit top form to beat 18-year-old Eilidh Briggs (Kilmacolm) by 5 and 4 to win the championship

Louise was beaten my Eildih’s older sister Megan in the 2009 final at Southerness and by Kelsey MacDonald (Nairn Dunbar) in last year’s final at Craigielaw. On neither occasion did she do herself justice. But it was a different story at Machrihanish.

“I went into the final this year, feeling that my time had come. I was totally relaxed which was the big difference from the last two years,”said Kenney.

“I got off to a good start and in these horrendous conditions I felt I played really well. Eilidh’s only 18 – her time will come, no doubt about that.”

Eilidh tried to take a philosophical view – not easy when you’re a teenager and you’ve just lost the biggest match of your life.

“It was disappointing to lose in the final but I’ve had a great week,” said Eilidh who is bound for Stirling University in the autumn.

“It was a shame about the weather. Louise played very steadily in it.

Kenney coped better with the strong southerly wind and rain over the first nine holes and was three up after eight holes.

The experienced Fifer won the third and fifth with young Briggs bogeying both, the fifth with an uncharacteristic three putts.

Eilidh looked as if she was settling when she birdied the sixth to cut her deficit to one hole but Kenney countered with a brilliant eagle 3 downind at the long fifth.

That put Louise two up and she made that three holes of an advantage when Briggs bogeyed the eighth, The Kilmacolm player had bogeyed three of her last six holes in contrast to her semi-final victory in which she bogeyed only one hole of the 17 she played in beating her sister Megan.

Kenney slipped to her first bogey of the day to lose the ninth and she turned for home with a two-hole advantage, having gone out in an approximate one-under-par 36 – excellent scoring in the foul conditions.

Briggs covered the first nine in two-over 39, compared with four-under 33 in Friday’s semi-final.

Kenney re-established a three-hole lead when Briggs bogeyed the 10th and a par at the 11th was good enough for Louise to take a four-hole lead for the first time.

The weather had not relented and, into the wind, the 488yd 12th was halved in bogey 6s.

The 13th was a “brutal” hole into the wind and rain – and, not surprisingly it was halved in double bogey 6s.

Kenney clinched her second national title – she was also Scottish girls champion in 1999 - with a bogey 5 at the 14th.

FINAL (18 holes) - Louise Kenney (Pitreavie) beat Eilidh Briggs (Kilmacolm) 5 and 4.