EVERY cloud has a silver lining. Let’s face it, 2020 has hardly been a vintage year but, as she gets set for her final Ladies European Tour event of a disrupted campaign, Kylie Henry continues to look on the bright side.

When the emergency stop cord was pulled on the various golf circuits earlier in the year due to the coronavirus and everything came shuddering to a chaotic halt, there was plenty of nail-nibbling anxiety.

With her touring professional husband, Scott, also left twiddling his thumbs after the men’s Challenge Tour was mothballed, the outlook looked as gloomy as a series of deep lows moving in from the west.

But what were we saying about clouds again? “Initially, when everything was locked down, it was very scary,” reflected Henry, as she prepares for this week’s season-ending Spanish Open. “It was a huge change to our lives. I hadn’t spent that amount of time at home for almost 15 years and Scott was the same.

“But once we got over the disappointment of the tours being cancelled we actually had a great time. We settled into living more of a normal life as husband and wife.”

Instead of packing their suitcases, gathering their clubs and saying to each other, ‘did you switch the iron off?’ before boarding their respective flights to some far-flung golfing land, the Henrys savoured this strange domestic bliss.

“We’d not spent as much time together for ages,” added the 34-year-old from Glasgow, who won twice on the tour back in 2014. “At the time the courses here were closed so there wasn’t much we could do. We were delivering shopping to my parents who were shielding as they were looking after my 93-year-old gran.

“They were staying out in the country so at least we could hit balls from their garden into the farmer’s field and try to avoid the cows. But I genuinely didn’t think we would be back playing on the tour again at all this year.”

That professional tours around the globe managed to get going again has been an admirable act of salvage akin to raising the Mary Rose. Of course, the Ladies European Tour has not had its troubles to seek in recent seasons.

A couple of years ago, with sponsorship dwindling and tournaments falling by the wayside, downbeat tales of players having to find additional employment to supplement their income, as there simply weren’t enough playing opportunities to make a living, highlighted the desperate straits into which the tour had been plunged.

A partnership struck with the LPGA Tour last year, however, gave the European circuit a much-needed boost and the 2020 schedule was the strongest for years, until the pesky pandemic wiped out a good chunk of it.

“For me personally, the years in 2017 and 2018, when the entire schedule was only 12 or 13 events, felt much tougher than this year,” added Henry. “It actually felt like you were unemployed then. It was very hard. This year was looking amazing until the coronavirus hit. Given that the tour was shut down for so long, it’s been a real bonus to play 11 events.

“The players don’t care about the testing, the strict bubbles and all the things you have to go through to make this work. Just to be playing is wonderful. When it all got taken away from us, you quickly realised how much you love golf. I am definitely more appreciative of what I do now.”

Henry, whose long-term backers the Watson Foundation and Mar Hall have remained loyal in a year of major financial hardships across the board, has racked up four top-10 finishes this season and is the leading Scot at 14th on the tour’s rankings heading into the Spanish finale.

“My game has felt pretty solid for a long time and hopefully I can finish the year on a high,” she said of an 11th season on tour.

This year may have been one to forget for many, but Henry will certainly not forget one particular golf outing a few weeks ago. She squared up to Scott in the final of a matchplay event on the Big Johnson’s Tour, a Scottish mini-circuit run by her husband’s younger brother, John.

“It was a big deal for the both of us and it was just a shame our families couldn’t be there to watch,” she said of a tight tussle that Scott won on the last green. “It’s not easy going up against your husband. And for Scott it’s hard to be cut-throat against his wife.”

Perhaps a healthy rivalry is the key to marital bliss? “I don’t know about that,” added Henry with a wry chuckle.