Mactaggart chosen for Scotland after fine show at Championships

Danielle Ker (left) and Tara Mactaggart contested an all Borders semi-final
Danielle Ker (left) and Tara Mactaggart contested an all Borders semi-final

A TRIO of teenagers flew the flag for the Borders at last week’s Scottish Girls Golf Championship at Ranfurly Castle, Glasgow.

Tara Mactaggart (Minto), Danielle Ker (Roxburghe) and Leanne Wilson (Kelso) all played well in the two strokeplay rounds and all qualified for the championship flight matchplay.

And, on Monday, it was announced by the SLGA that Tara has been included in the eight girl team to represent Scotland in the Girls Home International Matches to be held from August 7-9 at St Annes Old Links, England while Danielle has been named as a reserve.

Tara was second qualifier in Glasgow with a two round total of 153 (5 over par), Danielle was sixth on seven over and Leanne 25th on 19 over.

In the first round of the matchplay Tara played Andrea Walker (Falkirk) winning 4&3, Danielle won by two holes against Charlotte Munro (Gullane Ladies) but unfortunately Leanne came up against Nicola Robertson (Dunblane New) and was beaten 5&4.

Tara went on to beat Kirsten Brown (Strathaven) 3&2 and Danielle beat Claire Robertson (Carnoustie Ladies) by the same margin in the second round.

The following morning saw the quarter-finals where Tara was up against last year’s beaten finalist in the Scottish Ladies, Eilidh Watson (Muckhart) and won that match 5&4. Danielle defeated Heather Munro (Monifeith), a member of the Scotland team just back from the European Girls Championships in Sweden, 3&2 setting up an all-Border semi-final.

In the semi, Tara was one down after six holes but never looked back after birdies at the short seventh and long eighth to be one up at the turn. Danielle won the 13th and 16th on the inward half but Tara won the 11th, 12th, 15th and 17th for a victory 3&1.

In one of the most polished performances in an Under-18s’ final for some time, Connie Jaffrey (Troon Ladies) another member of the team just back from Sweden, had six birdies and was roughly four under par for the 15 holes played. The teenager bogeyed the first but birdied both the second and third and made it three wins in a row with a par at the fourth hole. Another birdie, at the sixth, put Jaffrey firmly in the driving seat with a four-hole advantage. The eighth was halved in birdie fours, Tara’s only sub-par figure in the round.

Three up at the turn, Jaffrey bogeyed the 10th but regained a three-hole lead with a birdie - her fifth, all of them at par-five holes - at the 11th and clinched her title and a 4&3 win with a sixth birdie at the par-four 15th. It was Tara’s misfortune to run into an opponent playing so well in the final.

The Borders girl was only one over par for the first 14 holes before having a double bogey six at the 15th, a standard of scoring that would have won many of the previous finals.

Both Tara and Danielle are playing in the Scottish Ladies Junior Open Strokeplay Championships being held at Inverness this week.