Janice Moodie proved she is moving even nearer the top of the women's game and deserves nothing but credit for her magnificent victory this week in the Asahi Ryokuken International Championship on the LPGA Tour.
It was her second victory in the US, following her breakthrough in the ShopRite LPGA Classic nearly two years ago.
Having finished on 15 under par, the Glasgow star beat Laura Davies by seven shots, and relegated world no one Annika Sorenstam to a distant third. No wonder fellow-Scot Kathryn Marshall confessed she was full of awesome admiration.
"It was a really tough course and Janice's scores were absolutely phenomenal," said Kathryn, who was the first Scot to win on the LPGA Tour way back in the 1995 Jamie Farr Classic.
"Everyone at home should be made aware of what a great triumph it was. She certainly deserved the whacking cheque - wish it was me!"
In fact, the career best pay day of $187,500 boosted Janice's earnings in just her fifth season on Tour to over $2M and lifted her season's total to $247,013. She is now lying seventh on the money list.
But while she is keeping her own bank manager very happy, it is not only Janice herself who is benefiting from the windfalls delivered by her incredible talent.
Behind the scenes, and without seeking any self-publicity or asking for any thanks, Janice is making a significant contribution to the future well-being of girls' golf in her homeland. She is generous to a fault.
She has her own tournament for the Janice Moodie trophy at her home club of Windyhill, while she also makes significant contributions to the Dunbartonshire and Argyll County, and to the West of Scotland Girls' Golfing Association.
"We are so proud of her," confirmed Celia White, the Windyhill Ladies' Captain.
"And the great news is that Janice is going to be here for her event on August 1 because it is the week before the Weetabix British Open at Turnberry."
The event - for girls aged ten to 21 with a handicap limit of 40 - grows in stature every year and Lynn Kenny, the 2000 Scottish Champion, is the current holder.
"Janice supports the tournament so well," continued Ms White.
"And as the word has spread, it is becoming one of the best-known British tournaments, and with some of the best prizes. The entries are not just from Scotland, but all over, and we can assure them of a really great day.
"Janice donates some great prizes, gives to the prize fund and also covers the cost of the lunches for every player. It is a really great gesture."
Incidentally, entries for the Janice Moodie Trophy can be made via this website.
As for the county and West of Scotland Girls' Associations, Janice also gives regular financial hand-outs to help those that are trying to follow in her admirable footsteps.
"Janice makes a contribution which she stipulates should go towards the girls' travelling costs," revealed Julie Bright, the new secretary of the West of Scotland Girls' Association.
"She relates how indebted she feels to her own parents who gave up so much to help her own career. Now she wants to help others. But she does it without any fuss. I'm fairly new to the post but it's amazing, you see Janice's name everywhere. And everybody tells me that she is such a lovely girl."
So it is clear that Janice, who is now living in Florida and will marry her American fiance, Tim Carneval, may now consider the US as home, but she will certainly never forget her roots.
In years to come, there could very well be another 'Janice Moodie' who has only made it to the top through the generosity of a player who never had it easy when she was striving to make her way as a young amateur.
Janice used to work in rather dodgy Clydebank nightclubs to help finance her golf, and she had to make ends meet in the days before sports stars were helped by Lottery funding or High Performance Plans.
Janice's parents did all they could to help her during her amateur days, but it wasn't easy. Her Mum suffered from an aneurysm when Janice was quite young and is now all but blind, while her Dad had a stroke three years ago.
Her younger brother still lives at home and helps them out, but Janice offers invaluable support.
John and Christine Moodie are, naturally, extremely proud of their daughter. They deserve to be - and not only because she is one of the world's best golfers.
|| 23 - MAY 2002