There are five Scots in the field this week at the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open, the most notable of which is Aberdeen native Gemma Dryburgh. Dryburgh first joined the LPGA Tour in 2018, but after struggling through her first few seasons, had to play LPGA Q-Series in December to regain her status for the 2022 season. This year has been good to the 29-year-old thus far – she’s made nine of 12 cuts with a best finish of T5 at the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play presented by MGM Rewards – and she returns to her home country of Scotland ready to tackle Dundonald Links, a place with which she’s very familiar.
“I remembered (the course) reasonably well when I got here on Monday, especially 18. It's a great risk/reward hole,” said Dryburgh, who is making her sixth start in the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open. “I’m feeling really good. It's been a decent start to the season. Probably the best I've ever had really, very consistent, only missing a couple of cuts here and there but kind of went on a run of making every cut at the start of the year. My coach has just come out this week. I haven't seen him since March so it was nice to get a bit of a tune-up before this week. It's been good to see him and I'm just feeling ready.”
Dryburgh had the opportunity during the Wednesday pro-am to play with three leading female Scottish amateurs – Grace Crawford, Lorna McClymont and Freya Constable – who are all members of the Scottish national golf team. The girls peppered her with questions about professional golf life and Dryburgh was happy to field all of them, enjoying the ability to help the future generation as they look to pursue the same dream she’s currently living.
“I'm always open to anyone asking me advice,” she said. “Hopefully, the girls today will ask me whenever they need advice, whatever they need. I love to help the game and grow the game and I was in their position once before. I appreciated people reaching out to me out on Tour and offering advice. Hopefully, I can be that person. It's great to see Scottish golf growing and doing well. Hopefully I can play a small part in inspiring them.”
For many players, teeing it up on home soil can prove to be a bit nerve-wracking as there’s a bit more pressure to perform in front of your fellow countrypeople. But Dryburgh is doing her best to keep her mind off that and is trying her best to tap into the confidence she’s gleaned from this season, hoping to card a new best finish on the LPGA Tour this week in Ayrshire.
“You kind of tend to put more pressure on yourself in your home events because you want to do well. Your family is all there and got the home support as well but sometimes you have to get it out of your mind and play like you do at every other event,” Dryburgh said. “It's probably the most confidence I've had coming into the Scottish before. Playing well out in America and then coming back here, I’m feeling good for it. I'm just feeling really good with my swing and my putting as well. I think I will stand in good stead hopefully.”