The Crail Golfing Society, and the world’s seventh oldest golf club, is gearing up next week for it’s first major womens tournament – 2012 Paul Lawrie Foundation Scottish Girls’ Championship.
Lesley Atkins (Gullane Ladies) won the title as a 15-year-old at Eyemouth two years ago and she will be one of the favourites to stage a repeat over the acclaimed Gil Hanse designed Craighead course at Crail in Fife.
Hanse also designed this week’s Scottish Open host venue at Castle Stuart while earlier this year his design company was awarded the right to design the 2016 Olympic Games host course in Rio de Janeiro.
Lesley will return from Scotland duty in the European Girls’ Team Championship in Germany to tee it up in a 66-strong field that also includes her international team mates – Jessica Meek and Ailsa Summers (both Carnoustie Ladies), Clara Young (North Berwick), Lauren Whyte (St Regulus) and Rachel Walker (Dumfries and County).
Lesley won the Paul Lawrie Foundation Scottish Schools’ Championships at Murrayshall last month – and the powerful hitter was the only girl in the Loretto School team that reached the semi-finals of this month’s HMC Foursomes National Finals at Burnham and Berrow in Somerset.
Coached by Kevin Craggs, the SLGA’s National coach, the 17-year-old is in the midst of a busy summer with the Scottish Junior Open Stroke Play Championship at Blairgowrie at the end of the month followed by the British Girls’ Championship in Wales.
This autumn, the scratch player will embark on her final year of a golf scholarship at Loretto School in Musselburgh and she is proud to be following a family tradition.
Lesley’s brothers, David and Peter, were both Captains of the golf team and she will be the skipper for the 2012/2013 session.
Ailsa, playing off plus one, is the backmarker in the Championship, while Clara, Lauren and Jessica are all one handicappers.
This is the first year that the Championship has been sponsored by the Paul Lawrie Foundation and, after 36-holes of stroke play qualifying, the top 32 players qualify for the top flight if match play knock-out. The final takes place on the morning of Saturday July 21.