The Herald - Herald Sport
McClymont taking nothing for granted in rich run of form
Stirling Uni student picks up where she left off after title-soaked 2022
LORNA McCLYMONT has hit such a rich vein of form over the last year or so, she just about needs a tourniquet to cope with the spurts of success. After a glory-laden 2022 campaign, illuminated by victory in the Irish Women’s Open Amateur Championship, the Stirling University student hasn’t let up as the 2023 season roars on.
In recent weeks, the Dumbarton golfer has retained her Irish title while adding the Welsh Open trophy to a jam-packed mantelpiece that must be as big as the Erskine Bridge.
McClymont is flying so high, the 22-year-old could probably breeze over to Ladybank for this week’s Scottish Women’s Amateur Championship on an updraft of her own confidence.
In this fickle old game, it’s important to savour the triumphs when they come along. You never know what those pesky, meddling golfing gods have in store, after all.
“I’d love to keep this up but this is golf and it often doesn’t work like that,” said McClymont, whose purple patch has also included various victories on the R&A’s Student Tour Series as well as a playoff defeat in the Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open. “You can’t win everything so I’m just trying to enjoy this run.”
McClymont, of course, is well aware of the savage, morale-sapping dunts that are part of golf’s rich tapestry. In last season’s Scottish Championship final, the Milngavie member was four-up with eight to play against Cameron Neilson but lost at the first extra-hole.
“It was a sore one to take and it can still be hard thinking about it,” admitted McClymont, who hails from the same Dumbarton parish as that late, great amateur grandee, Charlie Green. “There were a few tears shed after it but, in a strange way, the whole experience helped me. It showed me that, in golf, nothing is over until it’s over.
“I’ll admit it, when I had a big lead I was thinking, ‘oh, I’ve got this’. And then I was quickly brought back to reality. They do say, though, that you learn more from your losses than your wins. In many ways, I used that defeat as a springboard.”
She certainly did. One of her wins on the R&A student series was aided by a flabbergasting, record-busting
13-under 60 at Montrose last September.
“It was one of those weird days,” she said. “The lowest I’d ever shot before that was a nine-under at Gullane. Over the last few months, I think my mental approach has been the biggest factor. I’ve been a bit more positive and a bit more patient. I have a much higher acceptance level if things don’t go too well. I was always quite hard on myself. I can deal with setbacks much better now.”
Introduced to golf at the age of “11 or 12”, McClymont came on in leaps and bounds. “I was perhaps a bit later getting into it than some,” she reflected. “I started with a handicap of 36 and in my first season I got to around 19. From 19, I got down pretty quickly to eight so there were some big leaps in a short period of time.
“I got lots of support from my family. They must have seen
something in me. They could tell I was enjoying it and they kept me at it without putting too much pressure on. The support I get from Milngavie as well almost leaves me speechless. It’s a great club. I just want to see where my golf takes me.”
The cut-and-thrust of the professional scene would be the
ultimate destination for McClymont, once she completes her degree in sports studies. Her good friend, Stirling graduate and Ladies European Tour rookie Louise Duncan is on a journey that McClymont would like to follow while the sage counsel of Dean Robertson, who runs such a successful golfing programme at Stirling he’ll probably get immortalised in a monument on the Abbey Craig, offers continual expertise and experience.
“Dean’s got a great golfing brain to pick,” added McClymont, who can also tap into the vast knowledge of the decorated duo of Catriona Matthew and Kathryn Imrie in the Scottish Golf set-up.
“I often work and train along with Louise so it’s a great wee circle to be involved in.”
McClymont has found that the winner’s circle is not a bad place to be in either.
I’d love to keep this up but this is golf and it often doesn’t work like that. You can’t win everything so I’m just trying to enjoy this run