Saturday 12 November 2011


From the Kirkwood Golf Website

Mhairi McKay was tonight (California time) being inducted into the Stanford University Athletic Hall of Fame.
The following article is from the Stanford University website:
STANFORD, California - A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Mhairi McKay was the first international golfer to be offered in scholarship at Stanford. A three-time first team All-America selection for the Cardinal in 1994, '96 and '97, McKay helped Stanford to three Top-5 finishes at the NCAA Championships before going on to enjoy a successful career on the LPGA Tour.
As a professional, McKay represented Europe on two Solheim Cup teams, claimed her first professional victory at the 2003 AAMI Australian Women's Open and enjoyed three Top-10 finishes at the U.S. Women's Open. recently caught up with Mhairi to get her thoughts on her selection to Stanford's Athletic Hall of Fame, her favourite memories from her years on The Farm, her Scottish roots, her LPGA career and more.
What are some of your thoughts about being selected to Stanford's Athletic Hall Fame?
When the phone call came from the athletic department informing me of my selection for the Hall of Fame I remember just being completely stunned and taken aback. Such an honour I had given no thought to. Obviously I was aware of the great Stanford golfers already inducted, Mickey Wright, Tom Watson, Tiger Woods to name but a few; their stratospheric achievements have been an inspiration to me throughout my career. Following in their footsteps is very surreal, flattering and humbling.
The timing of the call came at a particular poignant moment for my family. We had just been evacuated the previous day from our home in Los Alamos, New Mexico, because of the Los Conchas forest fire. At the time we worried as the fire came within 1.5 miles of our home so the call was blessed relief and cause for celebration.
You were the first international player to be offered a scholarship to play golf at Stanford. What were some of the factors that pointed you to The Farm?
I have so many people to thank for their part in my Stanford scholarship all the way from Glasgow, Scotland. Firstly, my parent's close friends, Charlie and Joyce Scott, from our golf club in Glasgow were responsible for making initial contact with Tim Baldwin the then-women's golf coach after a round of golf at the university course. After that chance meeting, Coach Baldwin made contact with me and before I knew it my father and I were headed to the States (our first ever visit to USA) on a recruitment trip to check out Stanford and another prestigious university.
Ironically, the weather was very un-Californian, actually quite Scottish! Not that that bothered me, I was simply in awe of this amazing campus, Palm Drive, the Quad, the people associated with the university, driving range and golf course you could just fall out of bed on to, not forgetting all the other amazing sports facilities. I went to class with one of the girls on the team - psych with Professor Zimbardo - who lectured on his infamous Stanford Prison experiment. This sure doesn't happen in Scotland and how could all this incredible activity happen in one small place? I was overcome, yet in heaven!
The coach from the second university tried hard when I arrived there a few days later, but I already had my heart set on Stanford. Really there was no decision!
But I can't thank Tim Baldwin enough for taking the chance on a wee girl from Scotland whom he'd never seen swing a club! Who does that? Hence, I feel this honour is as much to do with Coach Baldwin giving me the opportunity of a lifetime.