Gabrielle Macdonald savours 'exciting' time for women's golf

Lothians golf star Gabrielle Macdonald reckons she’s moving up the ladder in the women’s professional game at a perfect time.

Monday, 10th January 2022, 3:38 pm
Updated Monday, 10th January 2022, 3:39 pm
Gabrielle Macdonald celebrates one of her two wins on the LET Access Series in 2021, helping set up her rookie season the top tour this year. Picture: Charlotte Krieger

The Craigielaw player is gearing up for her rookie season on the Ladies European Tour after graduating from the Access Series last year.

Macdonald is making the step up in time to be part of record-breaking schedule, with LET members will compete for a minimum of €24.5 million across 31 events in 2022.

The total purse, which includes the €2m Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open at Dundonald Links, is up €4.5m on 2021 and offers €13m more than in 2019.

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“It’s really exciting for me to have such a full schedule to look forward to this season,” admitted Macdonald.

She also welcomed last week’s announcement about the prize fund for this year’s US Women’s Open nearly doubling, rising from $5.5m to $10m, and then set to increase to $12m over the next five years.

“It’s brilliant to see the huge bump in prize-money at the US Open and also the quality of venues which will make for fantastic events,” added Macdonald.

“Iconic venues like Pebble Beach are places where golfers dream of playing, and I’m sure that will result in higher TV ratings, exposure and ultimately investment in the women’s game.

“Women’s golf is really progressing and it’s great to see the gap between the men and the women’s game narrowing at the top level.”

English pro Meghan MacLaren recently highlighted how, without sponsorship or other income, she would have suffered a loss of £23,000 last year despite finishing in the top 20 on the Symetra Tour, the LPGA’s feeder circuit.

In her 14 events, which included two wins, on the LET Access Series. Macdonald amassed earnings of less than £20,000 and was faced with hefty travel costs around Europe.

“As Meghan was saying, it can be hard to make a living without sponsorship and it’s still a different picture in Europe (than the US),” she said.

“But it’s definitely a time of growth as more people see the women’s game as an opportunity for investment.”

The 2022 LET season is scheduled to start with the Magical Kenya Ladies Open in the middle of next month.

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