Golf: Confident Davies in the driving seat

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The Independent Online
LAURA DAVIES is confident that she can take the winner's cheque in the McDonald's WPGA Championship, which starts today at Gleneagles.

The British player has finished second in her last two events, the German Open and the final major of the women's season, the du Maurier Classic, in Canada last Sunday. "Hopefully, I can make it third time lucky," said the 35-year-old former world No 1, who has finished in the top seven in six of her last seven events.

She won the Chrysler Open in Sweden last month, and added: "It's a great run. The difference now is that I've started to hole a few putts."

Davies also finished second in this event last year, and has been installed as the 9-2 favourite ahead of Scotland's defending champion, Catriona Matthew at 13-2.

Matthew, from North Berwick, was the first Scottish winner in a professional event in Scotland for 10 years, but it set a great trend. David Huish, in the Scottish Seniors' Open and Colin Montgomerie, in the Standard Life at Loch Lomond, have followed in her footsteps - then Paul Lawrie claimed the biggest prize of the lot with victory in the Open Championship at Carnoustie last month.

The 29-year-old - fifth in the du Maurier - has also been in great form. She has had five top 10 finishes and is lying 17th on the US money list. "Winning last year at Gleneagles gave me a lot of confidence and it's great to be back," said Matthew, who has three top 10 finishes in the Majors this year.

Janice Moodie, the leading British money winner at 14 with pounds 286,919, is another leading Scottish hope, while the English pair of Trish Johnson, winner of the French Open, and Alison Nicholas, who claimed the Hawaiian Open on the US Tour, look likely to be in contention.