Catriona Matthew (Scotland) played her way to her 2nd Ladies Scottish Open championship today, wrapping up the tournament with an overall 2 shot lead over her closest challenger, Hannah Burke(England). Matthew played on through winter-like conditions, with the temperature hovering in the 50s, and winds gusting to 30 mph. Well, it is Eastern Scotland, after all, and Matthew, playing on her home course, Archerfield Links, had the advantage of intimate familiarity with the course and the Eastern Scottish weather.
Matthew teed off in the 3rd round with a 3 shot lead over Liz Young (England) and Anne-Lise Caudel (France), who were sharing the 2nd spot on the leaderboard at the end of Saturday play. Birdies on the 2nd and 5th holes put her at +5. Caudel bogied #1 and #4 and dropped back. Young bogied #3, #7, and #8 and she, too, dropped back. Neither of them was able to recover the close 2nd place they’d enjoyed after the 2nd round. Caudel finished the Open at +4 and Young finished at +5 over par.
Matthew, ever the graceful champion, picked up her trophy and her check, then went to the practice area and conducted a clinic for amateur girls.
Hannah Burke had started the 3rd round right behind Caudel and Young, in 4th place. Burke shot a terrific 3rd round, with 4 birdies, an eagle on the par 5 11th hole, and a pair of bogies, and was in the clubhouse with a final 3rd round score of 68, 4 shots under par. She outplayed Matthew by 2 shots in the final round, but it wasn’t enough to overtake and pass the Scottish Solheim star. Holly Clyburn (England), who carded 74, 73, and 71 for the Open, finished at +4 in 3rd place, directly behind Burke.
Scores were running a bit high at Archerfield Links on Sunday. Among the top 10 finishers, only Matthew, Scot Heather Macrae and South African Stacey-Lee Bregman shot sub-par 3rd rounds.
Defending Scottish Open champion Carly Booth (Scotland) again carded +1, 73, as she did in the 1st and 2nd rounds of the Open. But her steady play paid off. She finished at +3, and climbed for a 2nd round rank of 13 to a 4th place finish.
The Ladies European Tour goes next weekend to The Helsingborg Open at Vasatorp Golf Club in Helsingborg, Sweden and then, September 12-15, to The Evian Championship in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Aquitaine, France. The Evian is co-sanctioned by the LPGA. USA fans will be able to follow The Evian through Golf Channel and NBC coverage and I’ll provide coverage of both events as well.