Grace Crawford’s winning streak is ‘very impressive’, says North Berwick model Catriona Matthew
Crawford, 15, won the Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open at Royal Troon just a fortnight ago, becoming the first Scottish player to claim the coveted title in 20 years.
Brimming with confidence, she then added the R&A Girls’ Under-16 Amateur at Enville in the Midlands, where the West Links player finished four strokes ahead of a strong field.
“It’s very impressive,” said Matthew, the new tournament ambassador for the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open, of Crawford’s double success on a return trip from the Bahamas, where she is a member of Albany Golf. Academy.
“It’s great that she’s still competing in age group events. The danger is that you can jump to another level too soon. It’s a great experience to win a lot, at any level. The feeling of victory is priceless. It’s great to get used to this feeling.
Crawford’s title triumphs came on the backs of Louise Duncan of Stirling and Hannah Darling of Broomieknowe winning the Women’s Amateur and Women’s Amateur Championships respectively last year.
They have also just been selected for the Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup squad for the second game in a row, with this year’s edition taking place at Merion in June.
“Grace, Hannah and Louise all seem to have their heads screwed,” observed Matthew, who is involved with Scottish Golf in a mentoring role and also sits on the board with fellow big winner Paul Lawrie.
“They are focused and have this quiet determination. They do the work. I played with Grace a few times. It’s nice to see her progressing, getting stronger and fitter.
Two-time winner Matthew won’t be competing at the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open at Dundonald Links later this year, but that’s partly because he’s trying to keep his powder dry for an exciting event at his door.
“I’m resting for Muirfield,” a smiling Matthew said of the East Lothian run as they hosted the AIG Women’s Open for the first time in early August.
“It’s difficult when you don’t play and you don’t train a lot. You are not that competitive. But I’m preparing for Muirfield and trying to peak for the US Senior Women’s Open.
There is no UK equivalent yet, but Matthew hopes that will change soon. “It was a hit in the United States,” she said. “You need the best names and Annika Sorenstam is playing so you’ll have Karrie Webb soon.
“You look at the men’s game and they’ve reached 50 and have huge opportunities. To be honest, though, I’m quite happy playing with a limited schedule. My kids are a bit older now, but they’re at the stage where they want me to come home a bit more.
“With Covid being present for the past two years, I have naturally calmed down. I wasn’t playing very well either, so I felt the time was right. I will never say that I will retire, I will still appear from time to time.
“But, after the two Solheim Cups as captain, it was a natural progression just to relax. And age catches up with you too.