Monday, June 19, 2017

Quality field for Irish close championship at Mullingar
A top-class field, including Irish Internationals and last week’s Ladies British Open Amateur Championship leading stroke play qualifier Paula Grant (Lisburn) will take to the course at Mullingar this week in the hope of being crowned Irish Ladies’ Close Champion. 2016 Champion Olivia Mehaffey (Royal County Down Ladies) will not return to defend her title but there is a host of players who will be gunning for the top spot come Sunday afternoon.
Great Britain and Ireland Vagliano Trophy player Maria Dunne (Skerries), alongside Grant and Castletroy’s Chloe Ryan, will get play underway from the 1st tee on Thursday morning. Last year’s runner-up, Louise Coffey (Malone), is scheduled to open her 2017 bid at 08:10 together with Girls’ International Valerie Clancy (Killarney) and recent Royal Portrush Scratch Cup winner Mary Dowling (New Ross).
Sara Byrne (Douglas), who will also represent GB and I at the Junior Vagliano Trophy in Italy from June 29 – July 1, has had a stellar season so far, including good finishes at the Fairhaven Trophy as well as the Irish Girls’ and Women’s Open Stroke Play Championships, and will be hoping for a positive finish this week before heading to Bogogno.
The Irish Women’s Close Championship was last played over the Belvedere course in 1965, when Elizabeth Purcell (Milltown) beat Pat O’Sullivan (Tramore) by a 3 and 2 margin in the final.
More recently, the Irish Girls’ Close Championship was held at the David Jones-designed course in 2008. That year saw Lisa Maguire (Slieve Russell) take the title when she overcame her twin  Leona 4 and 3 in the final. H
Having gone on to win the Irish Women’s Close the following year at Fota Island, Lisa returns this year, having completed her Junior year at Duke University, to compete for the title again. Mullingar is always in magnificent condition and will no doubt provide a significant test for Ireland’s elite.
Competitors play 36 holes stroke play on the first day with 32 players qualifying for the Championship match play.  Those who are defeated in the first round of the Championship match play will then continue play in the Plate match play.
All information for the Irish Women’s Close Championship, including the draw can be found HERE.
1st tee/10th tee
Rd 1  Rd 2     Player (Club)
08:00  13:30       Chloe Ryan (Castletory /UCD) Maria Dunne (Skerries) Paula Grant (Lisburn)   
08:10  13:40       Deirdre Smith (Co. Louth) Mairead Martin (Kanturk) Ciara Casey (Hermitage)  
08:20  13:50       Lucy Simpson (Massereene) Aedin Murphy (Carlow) Rachel Thompson (Cork)
08:30  14:00       Sarah Cunningham (Ennis) Gillian O'Leary (The Island) Orla Dunphy (Kilkenny)
08:40  14:10       Una Marsden (Tullamore) Alice Hutchinson (St. Anne's) Paula Walsh (Doneraile)
08:50  14:20       Clodagh Walsh (Castlewarden) Catriona Griffin (Killarney) Aine Donegan (Woodstock)
09:00  14:30       Suzanne Corcoran (Portumna) Aoife Lowry (Tipperary) Clodagh Hopkins (Woodbrook)
09:10  14:40       Gemma McCarthy (Clonmel) Maeve Cummins (Lurgan) Roisin Brady (Co. Louth           
09:20  14:50       Emma Forbes (Royal Portrush) Kate Lanigan (Hermitage) Anna Foster (Elm Park)
09:30  15:00       Jan Browne (Kilkenny) Ellen O'Gorman (Milltown) Chloe O'Connor (Roscommon)
09:40  15:10       Niamh O'Dwyer (Lahinch) Canice Screene (Hermitage) Clare Calvert (RCDL)              
09:50  15:20       Shannon Hegarty (Ennis) Nicole McGavisk (Donabate) Olivia McClurg (Belvoir Park)
10:00  15:30       Lavinia Bowe (Royal Co. Down Ladies) Anna McVicker (Belvoir Park) Katie O'Hart (Arklow)
10th tee/1st tee
Rd 1    Rd 2    Player (Club)
08:00    13:30    Sinead Sexton (Lahinch) Niamh McSherry (Lurgan) Lisa Maguire (Slieve Russell)
08:10    13:40    Valerie Clancy (Killarney) Louise Coffey (Malone) Mary Dowling (New Ross)    
08:20    13:50    Shannon Burke (Ballinrobe) Mary Doyle (The Heath) Meadhbh Doyle (Portarlington’)
08:30    14:00    Sara Byrne (Douglas) Ariana Coyle Diez (Elm Park) Molly Dowling (Lucan)                  
08:40    14:10    Rachael McDonnell (Elm Park) Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden) Niamh Ward (Lurgan)
08:50    14:20    Shannen Brown (The Heath) Lisa O'Shea (Shannon) Hannah Henderson (Ballyclare)
09:00    14:30    Eleanor Metcalfe (Laytown & Bettystown) Beth Coulter (Kirkistown Castle) Georgia Carr (Milltown)                     
09:10    14:40    Clodagh Jones (Roscrea) Kate Dwyer (Rossmore) Zoe Collins (Castle Royle)    
09:20    14:50    Hilary Hall (Enniscrone) Maeve Kelly (Castle Dargan) Claire McGonagle (Portsalon)
09:30    15:00    Leah Temple Lang (Elm Park) Sarah Molloy (Kilkenny) Lauren Murray (Delgany)
09:40    15:10    Molly O'Hara (Clandeboye) Caroline Hewitt (Courtown) Katie Keenan (Kilkenny)         
09:50    15:20    Ruth Maguire (Corrstown) Fiona Farrell (Skerries) Deborah McCooke (Galgorm Castle) 
10:00    15:30    Rebekah Gardner (Carnalea) Anna Dawson (Tramore) Ann Marie Conlon (Mullingar)

Carla Reynolds
Irish Ladies Golf Union
 Junior Development, Public Relations & Communication

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