CATRIONA MATTHEW has been ploughing a lone furrow for Scotland on the LPGA Tour for so long now, you half expected her to seek out the assistance of an ox to lighten the workload.

Help will be at hand next season, though, when her young compatriot, Gemma Dryburgh, strides out for her rookie campaign on the female game’s most lucrative circuit.

Trying to negotiate a successful passage through the daunting qualifying school can be a perilous process on a par with charting a course round Cape Horn on a balsa wood raft, but Dryburgh managed it with great aplomb and earned one of the 20 LPGA cards up for grabs.

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The Aberdonian is well aware that trying to fill Matthew’s sizeable shoes will be a colossal task but you have to start somewhere. “She’s been up there for so long and we always want another Catriona,” said Dryburgh.

“We need players to back her up and fill that void, especially as she’s coming towards the end of her career. Knowing her, though, she might go on for ages. It would be nice to have someone else out there doing well. Hopefully that can be me.”

Dryburgh has been making quiet, effective strides in the professional ranks and the former Curtis Cup player’s talents and drive have been rewarded. With her colleagues on the struggling Ladies European Tour eking out something of a hand to mouth golfing existence due to a shortage of events, Dryburgh could not have picked a better time to explore more fertile and prosperous lands.

“Given the way things are in Europe just now, it almost made me more determined to get on to the LPGA Tour,” she added. “I’ll be able to plan a schedule now as opposed to having to play in everything because you simply had no other choice. I’ll be able to pick and choose now, which is a nice dilemma to have.”

As a dab hand at a variety of sports, Dryburgh’s ascension to the LPGA Tour continues to justify the decision she took when at high school in the US to focus on golf as opposed to another roon ba’ game.

“I wanted to do both football and golf but we could only do the one so I chose golf,” said Dryburgh, who is now based in London. “I think I had potential at football. There are much more opportunities for female footballers in the US than here.

“It was a tough decision. I love football and really miss it still. But sticking to golf was the right decision and I’ve certainly no regrets now.”