Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

AIG Women’s Open: Slow play checks take the gloss off Kelsey MacDonald’s Open debut

Kelsey MacDonald hits into the 18th green in the first round at Carnoustie.
Kelsey MacDonald hits into the 18th green in the first round at Carnoustie.

Kelsey MacDonald couldn’t stress enough how much an honour it was to hit the opening shot of the AIG Women’s Open at Carnoustie, but something of that gloss was taken off by being tracked by rules officials almost all the way round.

The opening group of Nairn’s MacDonald, American Sarah Schmelzel and Chloe Williams were out on the clock as early as the fourth hole. MacDonald admitted that her rhythm had been upset.

‘I felt like I was having to run round’

“It was an absolute honour to hit the first tee shot, so that makes it a great day” she said after her three-over 75. “But being on the clock as early as the fourth is not ideal.

“It was one of those things. But I felt like I was having to run round and it’s not really what you want in your first experience of the Women’s Open.

“I’m a fairly quick player. It wasn’t me (that was responsible) that’s all I’m saying.”

It did seem more than a little strange to give MacDonald the honour of the opening tee shot, probably aware that she’s among the quickest players on the circuit and could set the tone for the pace of play for the day, and then have a rules official riding with her group for 14 holes.

“It’s not nice when you have a referee following you the whole way round,” she added. “I did find that quite hard.

“I’m a quick player. You have to try and forget about it. But, when your whole group is being monitored you’re aware you just have one shot you take a bit longer over, then you are going to be penalised. That’s a tough one.”

Schmelzel does have a reputation for being among the slow players on the LPGA Tour. But that being known, it also strange the R&A chose the American to be in the first group.

Miss for birdie at 15 stalled her momentum

MacDonald did have her moments during her round, reaching two-under after six in dreich but windless conditions. A couple of bogeys around the turn weren’t terminal by any means. But a four-foot miss for birdie at the 15th – playing as tough as any on the course – robbed her of momentum.

She bogeyed the 16th, and then doubled the 17th after blocking her tee shot into the Barry Burn.

“The alarm was set at 3.30am, so it was what time of the night I got up, not how early,” she joked. “I had a shortened warm up due to the lack of light. But you’d always take a 6.30 tee-off time, with the course clear, so it all evens out.

“It’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. I smashed my opening drive past the bunker and away we went, so I was delighted about the start.

“I had family and friends in the stands at the first. That was a delight, obviously when you consider their alarm was pretty early, too.

“I can’t emphasise enough what an honour it was to hit the opening tee shot.

“Last week felt like a major and this week is a major. It’s amazing to be here and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]