|Aberdeen Ambassadors Booth, Matthew, McKay and Kenny|
Alison Nicholas will be keeping a keen eye on the Europeans at the Aberdeen Ladies Scottish Open presented by EventScotland, which starts tomorrow at Archerfield Links in East Lothian.
The 2011 European Solheim Cup Captain hopes that any potential team members will prove that they have what it takes to earn one of four wild card picks for The Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle in Ireland from September 23-25.
“It will be interesting to see who plays well at the Aberdeen Ladies Scottish Open this week as it may help me to decide who will make the 2011 European team,” Nicholas said. “Melissa Reid and Catriona Matthew, who have already cemented their places, are both in the field along with a number of potential selections. Showing you can play well under pressure at the key time for selection is very important and with The Solheim Cup just 36 days away, this tournament provides a wonderful opportunity for Europeans to shine.”
Scotland marks the final qualifying event for the points’ list, although Melissa Reid, Laura Davies, Suzann Pettersen and Christel Boeljon have already booked their places on the side as they cannot be caught by the fifth placed player, Virginie Lagoutte-Clement.
The Frenchwoman, who is the reigning champion in Scotland, will be looking to impress ahead of the August 29 team announcement, as will 2009 teammates Becky Brewerton and Diana Luna.
Brewerton said: “I am really looking forward to playing Archerfield again and this will be a big week for me as the last chance to impress before The Solheim Cup. Although the pressure will be on, I feel confident in my game and have been doing some sound preparation work so I will be looking to follow my win at the Tenerife MatchPlay with another this week.”
The next four players due to qualify from the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, could still change. Those spots are currently occupied by Maria Hjorth, Anna Nordqvist, Catriona Matthew and Sophie Gustafson. Matthew will lead the Scottish challenge at Archerfield, as one of ten Scots in the field.
The 2009 Ricoh Women’s British Open champion is joined by compatriots Mhairi McKay, Vikki Laing, Clare Queen, Kylie Walker, Krystle Caithness, Lynn Kenny, Heather MacRae and Gemma Webster, while 19-year-old Carly Booth is keen to put on a performance for the home fans.
Booth said: “I’m really looking forward to this event and it’s great. It’s a change because you have a small field, a cut and you have an amateur to play with so it’s friendlier, with a more relaxed atmosphere. It’s great to have a tournament in my home country because we don’t normally get them, from amateur until now. You’re in every different country but your home country, so it’s nice.”
Her best finish at the tournament was a tie for 13th in 2007, when she was the leading amateur and she added: “At The Carrick I came 13th and I’ve not even beaten that since. I’ve been a pro for nearly two years so I’ve got to get my finger out!”
Format of play for the 60 professionals in the 54-hole event is strokeplay, with no cut. However there is also a Pro-Am style event running concurrently from Thursday 18th – Saturday 20th August.
The event’s unique format will see 60 professional golfers playing alongside 60 amateur partners including sporting personalities such as rugby’s Gavin Hastings and football’s Alan Hansen. Format of play is better-ball for the team event and only the top 15 amateurs will survive the 36-hole cut to play in Saturday’s final round.