Omega Dubai Ladies Classic

Scottish pro Kelsey MacDonald confronts the cameras and her future in Dubai

By Kent Gray
elsey MacDonald is grateful to have pal Katy McNicoll on her bag as she faces the cameras, and a potentially career-defining weekend, in Dubai.

Successive 68s will see the second-placed Scot tee it up with Dutch leader Anne Van Dam and third placed Georgia Hall in the final, 3rd round threesome on Friday at the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic.

Like Hall, MacDonald is gunning for her maiden LET title but unlike the Englishwoman she has the added pressure of playing for her livelihood next season. The top-80 keep their cards and MacDonald came into the season-ender 91st, just shy of €3000 outside of safety. It means that while she’ll endeavour to close the two-shot gap on Van Dam, MacDonald must also guard against a slide down the leaderboard. That’s no easy feat with TV cameras suddenly thrust in your face.

“The thing is for me is that I’ve never really had the cameras, so I was quick on quite a few shots. The shots that they probably are going to show [on TV] are going to be terrible,” said the 27-year-old who mixed six birdies – four on the trot from the 15th – with two second round bogeys.

For context, MacDonald has barely made a cut this year, let alone contended. She arrived in Dubai on the back of four unwanted weekends off and with season earnings of just €10,808 – a sum that would barely cover the cost of one of those cameras.

“There were a lot of cameras on me, kind of entering my like, zone, personal space, and the way I hit shots, I’m very quick, so I kind of got a little distracted at times and maybe hit some poor shots today that I wouldn’t have previously. But I’ve got to just learn from that and if I’m in contention, it’s going to happen a lot.”

MacDonald credited McNicoll, a PGA assistant at men’s Scottish Open venue Gullane G.C. in East Lothian, for keeping “me clam and in the moment.”

McNicoll will endeavour to remain that “good influence” given what is at stake this weekend.

“I’ve not had the best of seasons, hard to get a bit of momentum,” said MacDonald. “But I love the course here. I’ve got good vibes from the last few years. So I came in with a lot of confidence and positivity. I just need to press on and enjoy my weekend.”



Kent Gray

Editor of Golf Digest Middle East. Has written about golf since 1989 and owned a suspect short game even longer.

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