Scottish amateur Hannah McCook is counting the days down to teeing up alongside leading names on the Ladies European Tour at the upcoming World Ladies Championship in China.
The 22-year-old has been handed a dream sponsors’ invite for the event, which takes place over the Olazabal Course at Mission Hills from 10 – 13 March.
Grantown-on-Spey’s McCook, a member of the Scottish Golf Women’s Squad, is thrilled at the opportunity to play in an event that is sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour (LET), the China LPGA Tour and also the Korean LPGA.
“I’m delighted to receive an invite to the World Ladies Championships at Mission Hills, it’s going to be an amazing experience as an amateur,” said McCook, who finished second in the Argentine Women’s Amateur Open in December and competes in this week’s Spanish Amateur. “It’s a limited field for professionals, so to receive an invite as an amateur is brilliant.”
With fellow Scots like Pamela Pretswell, Sally Watson and Kylie Walker in the field, alongside a number of leading Chinese players and British hopefuls Amy Boulden, Becky Morgan and Trish Johnson, McCook hopes to benefit from the exposure of playing in a professional event.
The championship will retain its unique three-in-one format, created by Mission Hills, China LPGA Tour, and the LET, with an eye on golf’s return to the Olympic Games this year in Rio de Janeiro.
As well as a 72-hole individual stroke play competition, there is a professional team championship run concurrently. The tournament will also include an individual amateur event, played over 72 holes of stroke play.
“I’m looking forward to going to China for the first time and playing on a world famous course against the top pros from the European and Asian Tours,” added Hannah, who won the The R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament in St Andrews last year. “It will be a great test for my game and a great experience which will stand me in good stead for the rest of the season. I’d like to thank Scottish Golf for the opportunity.”
McCook, who first played for Scotland at under-16 level in 2009, then in the Girls and Ladies Home Internationals, and Girls European Team Championships, is no stranger to playing in Asia. The University of Stirling Sports Studies graduate represented Great Britain at the World University Golf Championships and the World Student Games in Korea.
McCook, who also became Scottish Schools Ski champion in her first year of secondary school, is ranked 700th in the world amateur golf rankings and hopes to climb the standings in 2016 as her experience and game develops through such opportunities in China.