East Lothian junior trio set for Muirfield memory

The world’s top women golfers aren’t the only ones feeling excited about teeing it up at Muirfield next week in the AIG Women’s Open.

Wednesday, 27th July 2022, 12:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th July 2022, 12:31 pm

Three young East Lothian golfers will be playing in the pro-am at the East Lothian venue and they’ve already been there for a practice round.

The opportunity for Louise Martin, a 14-year-old who is a member at Gullane, Longniddry 17-year-old Ryan Gallagher and Ryan Pirie, a 15-year-old from Haddington, has been teed up through the East Lothian Junior League.

They’ll be in action in Tuesday’s pro-am, with the R&A, which runs the women’s major, and hosts the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers both delighted that the event is being used to showcase local talent.

Ryan Pirie, Louise Martin and Ryan Gallagher pictured during their visit to Muirfield for a practice round. Picture: Recounter Media Limited.

“The R&A is committed to the global development of the game of golf and it’s crucial that as part of this we inspire future generations to play at every level,” said Jackie Davidson, The R&A’s Director – Golf Development.

“The opportunity to see the best players in the world up close for these promising young talents will, I hope, fuel their passion for the game and perhaps we might see them teeing up in amateur championships and beyond in the future.”

Stuart McEwen, secretary of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, added: “We were delighted to invite the juniors to Muirfield and give them an opportunity to experience playing at a world-class venue ahead of the AIG Women’s Open Pro-Am.

“We are also looking forward to welcoming some of the best professional female golfers in the world and hope to play a small part in a successful championship that will inspire a future generation of golfers.”

Martin, who plays off 11, is looking forward to seeing top players up close, saying: “I will definitely look at their course management, routine and short game.”

Gallagher, who is heading to the US next year to continue his golf journey at college, said: “It’s amazing to see the course championship ready, it’s in the best condition.

“We had all of the top men playing at The Renaissance Club for the Genesis Scottish Open and now we’ve got the best women players coming to Muirfield, which is great for golf in East Lothian.”

Knox Academy pupil Pire will be rooting for a Norwegian in the $6.8 million event. “I’ll be supporting Marianne Skarpnord because my dad’s cousin is caddying for her,” he revealed.

A final qualifier being held at North Berwick on Monday will see Broomieknowe’s Hannah Darling bid to secure a spot in the season’s final major.

Others set to be involved in that 18-hole shoot-out include Solheim Cup stars Cristie Kerr, Mel Reid, Caroline Headwall and Anne van Dam.

Swede Anna Nordvist will be the defending champion at Muirfield, where 2009 winner Catriona Matthew will have a small army of fans in her native East Lothian.

Nordqvist and Matthe are among 11 past champions in the field, the others being Sophia Popov, Hinako Shibuno, Georgia Hall, In-Kyung Kim, Ariya Jutanugarn, Inbee Park, Mo Martin, Stacy Lewis and Laura Davies.

Tickets are now on sale via aigwomensopen.com. Adult tickets will start from £35 with children aged under 16 years old admitted free of charge. Spectators aged 16-24 years old will be entitled to purchase youth tickets starting from £17.50.