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Strath pair fail to make cuts in European Tour

By Gavin Musgrove

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BOTH Hannah McCook and Duncan Stewart were left disappointed after failing to make the cut in the latest outing of the European Tour with both tournaments being staged in Africa.

McCook (pictured) had continued her fine form on the Sunshine Tour in the the opening round of the Investec South African Women’s Open.

She carded an encouraging 74 to be tied 21st after the first round to give her a great chance of progressing.

But a second-day 81 sunk her hopes of making it to the final day in her first Ladies European Tour event as a professional.

Her 10-over-par 157 left her three shots off the cut and tied for 74th place.

McCook, now associated with Gleneagles, told the Strathy: “Although the result was far from what I would have liked, I have certainly learnt from it.

“I played well in round one in very tricky windy conditions to be sitting tied 21st. I went out with the same intentions in round two and tried to be patient and see what would happen by the end of the day.

“Unfortunately in golf a couple of mistakes can soon escalate.

“I was doing okay though six holes but then suddenly the dreaded thought of the cut entered my mind. In golf that is fatal.

“I tensed up and didn’t feel as free and committed to what I was staying to do.

“Once I had finally got that freedom back it was pretty much too late but I kept fighting until the end to try make birdies and make the cut.

“I didn’t, but I have already learnt for the next event. Sadly these days can happen to everyone; it’s just so frustrating it happened in the biggest event out in South Africa and at a time I felt I was playing well.

“But you live and learn and move on to get better for the next tournament.”

McCook now has a couple of weeks at home before heading to France for the start of the Let Access Series.

She added: “The success in the early stages of South Africa has left me hungrier than ever to get better so I’m excited to get the season started in Europe.”

Meanwhile, Duncan Ste-wart was off the pace in his first Major of the year at the Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa.

He carded rounds of 74 and 78 for a 10-over-152 to finish tied 132nd.

Stewart said: “My performance in Kenya was extremely disappointing and it was a bit of a shock to discover my lack of match sharpness on the course.

“I felt like I was playing well in practice but then when it came to the tournament I wasn’t at the races scoring wise and on a tricky course like that you get found out.

“I’m home for two weeks then I’m going to Jordan for a mixed tournament with the ladies and seniors. This is a new event and the first of its kind which is pretty exciting.”

It was Q School Graduate Guido Migliozzi who came back to show nerves of steel and claim his maiden European Tour crown.

With no top tens from his previous 13 European Tour starts, the 22-year-old Italian had to draw on his experiences from three wins on the Alps Tour to hold off Spaniard Ardi Arnaus and South Africans Justin Harding and De Jager to win by one shot on 16 under.

Inspired by a magical chip-in on the 16th, Indian rookie Diksha Dagar won in the Investec South African Women’s Open.

It was a maiden Ladies European Tour win in just her fourth professional start at Westlake Golf Club on Saturday.

The 18-year-old left-hander from New Delhi tapped in for par at the final hole for a three-under-par 69.

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