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Stirling student follows in the footsteps of LPGA legend

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Kelsey MacDonald
Kelsey MacDonald. Photo: Steve Lindridge

Golfer Kelsey MacDonald emulated the achievement of Stirling graduate Catriona Matthew by winning the Jones-Doherty Women’s Amateur Championship.

The Sports Studies student lived up to her billing as the No.1 seed at the third event on the Orange Blossom, the highly regarded Tour for amateur women.

She defeated 13-year-old wonderkid Mika Liu 3-and-2 in a rain-soaked final at Coral Ridge Country Club, following in the footsteps of leading Scottish golfer Matthew, who claimed the amateur prize in 1992.

MacDonald, 22, lost the final in 2009, but maintained her Florida form which had already seen her finish third at the Harder Hall Invitational in Sebring the week prior.

She said: “I’m really pleased to finish the tour with a win here and to have my name on the same trophy as Catriona [Matthew] is very exciting. The University has offered me tremendous support throughout my studies and I’m grateful for that.”

Two down after five holes in Saturday’s title match, MacDonald won five holes on the trot from the eighth, recording two birdies in the process. Despite a dropped hole at 14, MacDonald from Nairn stormed back with a birdie on 15 to go 3up again, closing the match out on 16.

MacDonald now hopes to complete her studies and turn professional this spring, competing on the Ladies European Tour Access Series.

She was one of six students from Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence competing in three Orange Blossom events, the group captained by Jordana Graham and also comprising Eilidh Briggs, Georgia Gilling, Hannah McCook and Mhairi McKay.

They are coached by PGA professional and former Ladies European Tour member Lesley Mackay and were joined in Florida by England Girls international Annabel Dimmock and by gifted golfer Chloe Rogers, also a London 2012 Olympic hockey bronze medallist.

It is the ninth successive year Stirling’s women’s team has played on the Tour. The Stirling team receive support through a University golf scholarship and also from Winning Students, Scotland’s national sports scholarship programme for student athletes.

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