EVEN if Jodi Ewart-Shadoff is preparing for a third appearance at the Solheim Cup this week, preparations have not gone quite to plan.

Six years after first appearing in the biggest competition in women’s golf in Colorado, the North Yorkshire golfer arrived in Scotland this week without her clubs.

Ewart-Shadoff, from Middleham originally and now living in the United States where she studied and turned professional, had to deal with a few extra nerves when she arrived at Gleneagles unaccompanied with those vital sticks.

Having checked in her clubs on a commercial airline from Orlando to Dublin and then on to Edinburgh with Aer Lingus, she was horrified to learn her clubs had not arrived having witnessed them not being loaded onto the plane – despite reassurances from cabin crew they would be.

It is the sort of preparation, even though she was finally reunited with them on Tuesday, that has also been suffered by American team player Angel Yin. Ewart-Shadoff and her team will be trying to stay as focused as she can ahead of the action starting on Friday.

That’s when Catriona Matthew’s Team Europe will take on Team USA led by Juli Inkster, and Ewart-Shadoff is delighted to be a part of it having been named as one of four wild card picks.

She will be having to draw on all of the knowledge and experience she gained from her psychology degree to help the Europeans come out on top.

Ewart-Shadoff studied in America on a golf scholarship and uses her training to her advantage on the fairways and greens – even when she has her clubs in tow.

The 31-year-old said: “I’ve definitely drawn on my knowledge of psychology and used it to my advantage, especially in matchplay. That could be knowing when to play more aggressive or safe or sensing if my opponent is vulnerable.

“It can be a big help when playing with a partner as well. You can help her if you sense she is on edge just as you can exploit it if you sense the same from an opponent.

“I play week-in, week-out against all the American players so you get an idea of their regular routine.

“So you can sense when someone is out of their routine, not feeling comfortable. There are signs when you know they’re feeling the pressure.

“The back nine is always crucial and you can tell when someone starts to get a little bit nervous. Even the littlest things can give you a glimpse of what ’s going through their mind.

“My degree was about general clinical psychology but I’ve always been interested in applying that to sport.

“It’s especially important in matchplay because the demands are completely different to strokeplay – and I’ve always performed better at matchplay. I love going head-to-head, being aggressive, to ask questions of my opponent.”

Ewart-Shadoff, who learned to play the game at Catterick Golf Club in the early days, was relieved and delighted to have been called up as a wild card by when the 12-strong team was confirmed.

She said: “I love Catriona. She is a player who I’ve always looked up to and I think she’s going to make an amazing captain. I’m looking forward to being on her team and I’m just going to play as hard as I can and hopefully prove to her that she made the right pick.

“Making the team is my top goal every Solheim Cup year because it’s an amazing experience. This will be my third time but it will be my first in Europe so it will be fun to have everyone cheering for me rather than against me!”

ANOTHER North Yorkshire golfer, David Hague, heads a group of 30 county champions competing in this week’s English Men’s County Champion of Champions tournament at Frilford Heath Golf Club in Oxfordshire.

The 23-year-old Yorkshire champion from Malton and Norton is part of a quality field.

The English Men’s County Champions tournament on Sunday is part of a big week at the Oxfordshire club with the Boys’ County Champion of Champions event being played the previous day and the Senior Men’s County Champion of Champions straddling both days.

The 36-hole Senior Men’s County Champion of Champions features several present and past senior internationals.The 30-man field are all bidding to succeed County Durham PE teacher John Kirkpatrick (Ramside Hall).