THE chance of a historic family final in the 100th Scottish Women's Amateur Championship disappeared at the penultimate stage at Prestwick yesterday when the Lochwinnoch sisters Eilidh and Megan Briggs were both defeated.
Megan, a 24-year-old Glasgow solicitor and former champion, was beaten 3 and 2 by the St Andrews University student Gabrielle MacDonald, 21, from Edinburgh, while Eilidh, a 21-year-old Stirling PE student, who will make her Curtis Cup debut at St Louis, Missouri, next month, went down 2 and 1 to Connie Jaffrey, the 17-year-old leading qualifier from Troon.
Jaffrey traces her rise to comparative domestic prominence to a couple of years ago when she was not selected for any Scottish junior teams. "Looking back, the selectors were right, my game was not good enough at the time. But I made up my mind that I would prove them wrong in the long run and with the help of my coach, George Boswell, and a psychoanalyst, I have worked very hard," said the runner-up of the recent Heleln Holm Scottish Women's Strokeplay Championship and last year's Scottish girls' champion.
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MacDonald has never before gone beyond the second round in the competition, "I had not played in the Scottish for a year or two because of exams. I think it was the Thursday afternoon win over Clara Young that really made me think that this could be my week," she said.
"I played well to beat my St Andrews colleague Ailsa Summers, the No.2 seed, in the quarter-finals and just kept my game up to a high pitch to beat Megan Briggs."