A talented English amateur travelled 600 miles to achieve a unique ‘Dunbar Double’ at the weekend. 

Ashley Croft, who hails from Essex, won the Dunbar Ladies Open back in August 2019 and, during a short trip home from her studies as a student at North Arizona University in the USA, set about the challenge of completing the feat over Nairn Dunbar on Sunday.

Having made the long journey north to the Scottish Highlands with her parents, the 21-year-old shone in the glorious sunshine to post a superb level par score of 75 and win the scratch category at the Nairn Dunbar Ladies Open. 

Croft – a +3 handicapper who plays out of Stock Brook Manor GC – even achieved the feat on her first playing of the renowned Highland Links. 

“A ‘Dunbar Double’ certainly is cool,” said Croft. “It’s an honour for me to be able to say that and I’m grateful to be able to experience such wonderful courses.

“Since I’m only back in the UK from the USA for a month, I told my parents that I wanted to play and compete in Scotland because I love the courses and always have a wonderful time here. 

“We left Southend-On-Sea where I competed in the Astor Salver, coming in seventh, before making the rest of the journey up to Nairn. I was just happy to play a beautiful links course and to win the title really was a bonus for me.”

Croft, who just finished her third year at Northern Arizona University where she is majoring in Advertising, simply loves the challenge of links golf and Nairn Dunbar will always be held fondly in her memories.

She added: “Yes, I absolutely love links. It’s very different to the desert golf I play in Arizona, but I love the challenge and way you have to be creative.

“We were fortunate with the weather on Sunday, as I imagine it can get very tricky when the wind blows. I just tried to play smart golf and know when to go for it and when to play safe. It was so much fun and I enjoyed every second.

“Who knows, maybe in the future I’ll get a chance to play sister club Nairn and claim a triple title!”

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