Kylie Walker has high expectations for herself in the forthcoming Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open, to be played at Dundonald Links near Irvine in North Ayrshire from Friday July 21.
The 29-year-old Glaswegian finished 65th in the 2015 event when it was first played at Dundonald 12 months ago but she is back in a rich vein of form in 2016 and nothing would mean more than a third LET victory on home territory.
“I’ve always got high expectations for myself and especially playing a home event in Scotland, near Glasgow,” said Walker, who won the Deloitte Ladies Open and Ladies German Opens as well as the Renault Ladies Pro-Am on the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour in 2014. She enters her home tournament sitting in 19th position on the LET Order of Merit after two top 20 finishes from seven starts in 2016 and another reason to feel confident is that she loves playing links golf.
“All our amateur tournaments were played on good links courses so I’ve got quite a bit of experience and it’s always good playing a links course once or twice a year in tournament golf,” she said. “It’s definitely a different way of playing the game but I think its fun because it’s different to every other week on tour and courses in Europe. You can’t play them the way you play links golf, so it’s nice to have the variation. I’m really looking forward to it. I played Dundonald recently and it was in such good condition, so I think it’s going to be a great championship week.”
After recent negative headlines surrounding Muirfield’s decision not to allow women members, Walker believes that the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open will show how women’s golf in Scotland is thriving.
“I’ve never had a bad experience at all playing golf in Scotland. I’ve had very good opportunities and I’ve played every good course there is to play,” she continued. “I’ve never been held back by being a woman, so my personal experience is very positive. It is frustrating having the bad press about Scottish golf with regards to Muirfield. I think change is coming and it’s going to happen.”
Pamela Pretswell also has a strong chance of contending on home soil in Scotland, as does former champion Catriona Matthew, who finished tied for eighth and 14th respectively in the 2015 event. There will be nine Scots in total teeing up at Dundonald, with Sally Watson, Carly Booth, Vikki Laing and Kelsey MacDonald joined by Gemma Dryburgh and Laura Murray, who have received invitations.