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Hull continues to cause waves over 'professional' invitation

It was inevitable during yesterday's official launch of the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies' Scottish Open, an event which will give some of Scotland's leading female amateurs the opportunity to compete alongside their pro counterparts, that talk would turn to an on-going Curtis Cup saga involving English teenager Charley Hull and the Ladies Golf Union.

Hull, the 15-year-old who is No.8 in the world amateur rankings, withdrew from this month's Great Britain & Ireland squad get-together at Nairn, host venue to June's match with the United States, to take up an invitation to the first major of the women's season, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, in the States a few days later.

The LGU made it clear that any player missing the gathering would not be considered for selection while Hull has stood by her decision to pull out of the squad. It's all caused quite a stir.

Catriona Matthew, a three-time Curtis Cup player herself, has already described the LGU's strong stance as "bizarre" and "short-sighted", while Lynn Kenny, the Ladies European Tour campaigner from Stirling, has added her voice to an issue which has done little to bolster morale in the GB&I camp as they attempt to arrest a seven-match losing streak.

"It's a shame that Charley has to choose between two things that are dreams come true," said Kenny, the former Scottish Women's Amateur champion who was a reserve for the 2004 Curtis Cup. "It's a dream for a pro, never mind an amateur, to play in a major. The media attention has made it a good guy v bad guy kind of thing and I feel sorry for her. Hopefully common sense will prevail."

Kenny and Matthew were both at Archerfield Links yesterday to promote the Ladies Scottish Open, which will take place over the East Lothian course on May 3-5.

The €250,000 tournament will again be in the pro-am format, with a small number of those amateurs coming from the SLGA elite set-up.

Matthew, who romped to a 10-shot win in last year's event, is all for emerging talent mixing it with established professionals. "I was invited to play in the Weetabix Women's British Open as an amateur and it was a great experience," said Matthew, who will take time out of her LPGA Tour schedule to return to her own backyard in May and defend her national title.

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