Golfing talent Kelsey MacDonald recorded a solid start with her University of Stirling team-mates on the Orange Blossom Tour in Florida.
The 22-year-old, who plans to turn professional this spring and compete on the Ladies European Tour Access Series, finished third at the Harder Hall Invitational in Sebring.
Back-to-back birdies on 11 and 12 and again on 17 and 18 saw the Nairn-based player shoot a final round of 69, leaving her on three under par 285, two shy of the winner Erica Popson, a 2012 US Curtis Cup team player.
MacDonald said: “I am very pleased to have performed so well at the Harder Hall. It is nice to produce a decent finish in this event to complement good performances in the other tour events in previous years. It is the fifth time I have played on the Orange Blossom Tour thanks to the generous support from the University.”
She is one of six students from Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence competing in three events on the prestigious US Women’s Amateur Tour. Sports Studies student Jordana Graham captains the group which comprises Eilidh Briggs, Georgia Gilling, Hannah McCook and Mhairi McKay.
Briggs, a former Scottish U18 girls champion finished joint 19th whilst McCook, from Nethy Bridge was the third best Scot, delighted to be competing in Florida having previously missed out through injury.
The women are coached by PGA professional and former Ladies European Tour member Lesley Mackay and are also joined in Florida by England Girls international Annabel Dimmock, former British Universities champion golfer and London 2012 Olympic hockey bronze medallist Chloe Rogers and Sports Performance Manager Raleigh Gowrie.
It is the ninth successive year Stirling’s women’s team has played on the Tour and MacDonald will be looking for a repeat of 2009 when she finished runner-up in the South Atlantic Ladies Amateur Championship and reached the final of the Jones/Doherty matchplay.
The Stirling team receive support through a University golf scholarship and also from Winning Students, Scotland’s national sports scholarship programme for student athletes.
The group photo shows: (Back row l-r): Annabel Dimmock, Hannah McCook Mhairi McKay, Georgia Gilling; Lesley Mackay (coach) and Maggie Weder (USA). (Front row l-r): Eilidh Briggs, Kelsey MacDonald, Jordana Graham and Chloe Rogers.
Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence
The University of Stirling is designated Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence. Rated first in Scotland for sports research (most recent Research Assessment Exercise) and for our sports facilities and services (The Complete University Guide, 2012), we offer a wide range of flexible sport study options and manage one of the longest running International Sports Scholarship Programmes in the UK. Our scenic sports campus has attracted many sports organisations to base themselves here, each tapping into the sporting hub developed at the heart of Scotland. Find out more at www.stir.ac.uk/sport-at-stirling
Winning Students is Scotland’s national sports scholarship programme for student athletes. Managed by the University of Stirling as Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence and funded by the Scottish Funding Council, more than 150 high performance student athletes in member colleges and universities across the country are supported with scholarships of up to £5,500 each year. For more information, visit: www.winningstudents-scotland.ac.uk