Gabrielle Macdonald happy to make her mum proud at 'special place'
Gabrielle Macdonald has used her golf clubs to turn family heartache into joy by drawing inspiration from her mum to achieve a career goal at one of the last venues they attended together.
The 28-year-old has officially secured a Ladies European Tour card for next season after landing two wins in the space of just four events on the circuit’s development circuit, the LET Access Series.
The brilliant burst of form has moved Macdonald to the top of the order of merit with just two events remaining and it’s been confirmed that her name has been stamped on one of the six main tour cards up for grabs.
The Craigielaw player is overjoyed about the prospect of joining the likes of Kylie Henry, Kelsey MacDonald and Michele Thomson in flying the Saltire on the LET in 2022, with her only regret being that her mum Jacqueline won’t be around to see it after she passed away in December 2018.
In an interview the following year, Macdonald described Jacqueline as the “biggest inspiration in my life” and talked about how her being a “really strong, determined independent woman who never gave up” was driving her bid to be successful in the paid ranks.
“My mum would be really proud of me, I know that,” said Macdonald as she reflected on her recent exploits, having landed the first of her title triumphs in the Allerum Open in Sweden before adding the Lavaux Ladies Open in Switzerland last week.
Both victories were secured in play-offs, Macdonald admitting the second success had been particularly pleasing due to Golf De Lavaux in Puidoux being somewhere close to her heart.
“It was a pretty special place last week because my mum, my dad Keith and my sister Laurie came out when I played in that event as an amateur in 2018,” she said, tearing up in recalling that trip.
“My mum was quite ill at the time, but it was great for her to watch me. It was one of the last times she was able to do that, actually. It was a pretty special place to go back to because of that and now to win there is just a nice memory to have.”
Macdonald, who cut her golfing teeth at Prestonfield before joining Craigielaw when she was 14, is on course to become the first Scot to top the Access Series money-list.
“I can’t really believe it,” she said of her quickfire successes, “but I’ve been on a wee bit of a roll - I’ve not finished out of the top 15 in seven events since July - and it’s nice to take a wee bit pressure off and secure my card before the season finishes.”
Macdonald, who is coached by Bruntsfield Links PGA pro David Patrick, added: “My main goal for this year was to get on the LET.
“The purses aren’t high on the Access Series, but the prize is getting a spot on the LET. I’m so chuffed to do that and I’m looking forward to next year.
“I’ve had ups and downs along the way, including a tough year after I hurt my wrist, but I have definitely progressed in the last few years and hopefully it’s going to be onwards and upwards.”