Scottish Golf’s Orders of Merit have been finalised with Hannah McCook, Hazel MacGarvie and Sheena Wood winning their respective domestic titles for 2016.
Grantown-on-Spey’s McCook has triumphed in the women’s standings with MacGarvie from the Ladies Golf Club Troon taking the girls’ title while Wood from Aberdeen Ladies Golf Club was the runaway winner in the senior women’s rankings.
McCook racked up 567 points in the women’s order, ahead of Craigielaw’s Gabrielle Macdonald on 470 and Ailsa Summers from Carnoustie who was third on 433 points.
The 23 year-old was crowned Northern Counties champion in May and reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Women’s Amateur Match Play. She also earned valuable points on the road in the Irish Women’s Stroke Play, the Ladies British Amateur Championship, and British Open Stroke Play.
“It’s great to have won as it feels like it’s been a good year,” she said. “I achieved the best result I’ve ever had in every event I played in this year.
“It has definitely in part been down to the support from Scottish Golf, with the winter training in Abu Dhabi and being able to play in three professional events one of which was the World Ladies Championship in China. The experience of playing with professionals allowed me to see where my game is and gave me the confidence to play well in amateur events.”
McCook, who has type one diabetes, completed her second season on an insulin pump 24 hours a day which has made travelling to events much easier.
“That has made a huge difference as I no longer have to work out what time I need to have injections if I’m in a different time zone,” she explained. “I am also grateful to my employer sportscotland who are flexible in allowing me time off to compete, which meant I could play in the European Team Championship which had been a goal of mine for years.
“I’ve started working with David Torrance at Nairn who was my coach when I first joined the Scottish Golf Academy and that has also had a big impact on my game, and I’m already looking forward to next season.”
Troon’s MacGarvie earned the girls’ title with 902 points from four events, ahead of Jasmine Mackintosh from Hazlehead on 834, and Gullane’s Joanne Free on 759 who pipped Shannon McWilliam (Aboyne) by one point.
She said: “I am delighted to win the Girls’ Order of Merit especially since I didn't play in many counting events. I think this season has been successful. I really just wanted to do the best I could bearing in mind I was sitting my Highers, my last one not being until the beginning of June.”
The 17 year-old’s season included winning all six of her matches at the Home Internationals, and she even squared a match with Thomas Pieters in practice ahead of the Open Championship. But it was her victory in the weather-disrupted Scottish Girls Amateur Championship which was key in topping the girls’ Order.
“I was really pleased to win the Scottish Girls, particularly finishing on three under and then going onto win with an eagle at the par four first. Next year I just want to continue to improve my game.”
In the seniors, Wood stormed to the top with 998 points, almost double that of her nearest rival, to claim the first-ever Senior Women’s Order of Merit. She won both the Scottish Senior Women’s Match Play and Northern Division Veteran championships before a fractured arm kept her side-lined for five weeks.
Speaking about her achievement, she said: “I’m delighted and honoured to have won the first senior women’s Order of Merit. I play at Balgownie Links which is one of the toughest courses in the north east and because it’s so hard, you’re more prepared when you go to other courses.
“I was disappointed to have missed out on the European Team championship in Poland when I was injured, but finishing 20th in the British seniors in my first event back was not too bad!”
The Men’s, Boys’ and Senior Men’s Orders of Merit were finalised last month when their fixture lists were completed, with Turnhouse’s Euan McIntosh, Jamie Stewart from Old Course Ranfurly, and Downfield’s Graham Bell winning the titles respectively.
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