St Regulus girl golfers with handicaps 'better than scratch' starring for Scotland

Abigail May blasts away a tee shot (Pic by Martin Cairns)Abigail May blasts away a tee shot (Pic by Martin Cairns)
Abigail May blasts away a tee shot (Pic by Martin Cairns)
With hugely impressive handicaps of +0.6 and +2.5 respectively, St Regulus Ladies Golf Club members Carly McDonald, 13, and Abigail May, 16, have already done what most golfers can only dream of by reaching a playing standard even better than scratch.

And the St Andrews pair are this week representing Scotland for the first time, as they take on the continent’s best players at the European Girls’ Team Championship in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Running until Saturday, the top event features around 120 female players up to age 18 from 19 countries, with St Regulus junior convenor Susan Wood following their progress with great interest.

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"Having two players from the same club representing Scotland together is not a common thing,” Wood told the Herald and Citizen. "They’ve been brought up at the home of golf, working with the St Andrews Links Junior Golf Asociation coaching programme for many years.

Carly McDonald is scratch golfer aged just 13Carly McDonald is scratch golfer aged just 13
Carly McDonald is scratch golfer aged just 13

“The whole town is proud of Abigail and Carly as they are representing St Regulus Ladies Golf Club in Sweden.

"Abigail’s still got two years to play for Scotland at under-18 level and Carly has another four or five years.

"Carly qualified automatically for the six-player team due to her consistency playing in under-18 events, while Abigail got a pick.

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"Both girls work hard and have good all round games. They are showing dedication and a lot of talent. They will be practising daily.

"It’s their accuracy and consistency which is notable. Although they’re not bombing the ball 300 yards off the tee, they’re not lacking any distance.

"They are showing great potential at such a young age. The sky’s the limit if they keep working hard.

"It’s not easy because they’ve still to get through high school and then it depends what they choose to do.”

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When asked how Abigail and Carly rate in terms of being among the best players she’s seen at St Regulus, Wood – a club member since 2016 who has worked with the juniors for the past three years – replied: “I have seen a lot of girls come through. Over the years we have produced players that have played for Scotland, but the last one would have been Chloe Goadby and she’s turned professional now.

"We have always had one around the Scotland team but never two.”

This week’s event in Sweden – featuring two rounds of strokeplay before a matchplay section – is taking place at Göteborgs Golf Klubb.

Out of the 29 times the Girls’ Team European Championship has been played, Sweden has won medals 20 times, including eight gold medals.

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And it won’t be long before Abigail and Carly will be representing their country again, as they will also play for Scotland at the European Young Masters strokeplay event in Slovakia from July 25 to 27.

This event is for girls and boys, with the four-player Scotland team also being represented by Carly’s big brother Jamie, plus Aidan Lawson.

"This is another big tournament for under-16 players,” Wood added. “It’s difficult to tell how they’ll get on, but they have as good a chance as anybody else. It’s a great experience for them."

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