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2010 Lancome Irish Women

2010 Lancome Irish Women's Close - Portstewart

24 May 2010

Mary Dowling (New Ross) sank a magnificant birdie putt on the 18th to win her first Irish Women's Close Championship.

Jessica Carty (Holywood) won the the Ita Wallace Trophy (Plate) defeating Sarah Helly (Enniscrone) in the final.

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Mary Dowling got off to a great start with a birdie 3 on the 400yd first hole and parred the 2nd, 3rd and 4th to see her 2 up thru 4.  On the 5th, Leona was unlucky to miss the green and Mary had a superb 2 putt on a two tier green with the pin at the back to go 3 up. Leona won 6 and 7 with pars and the 8th was halved in pars with Leona sinking a 12ft putt while Mary hit an iron from 165yds to 12 feet but missed her birdie effort.  A strong cross wind on the 9th resulted in both players being right of the fairway and the hole was halved in bogies. Mary found a bunker on 10 and with an awkward stance took two to get out to see the match squared. Leona had a great birdie on the 312 yard 11th to go ahead in the match for the first time. Mary rescued a par on the par 5, 487yd 13th, hitting her third shot 200yds to the green for 2 putts (Leona still 1up). Leona birdied the 14th, sinking a 12 foot putt to stretch her lead to two while Mary won the par 3 15th with par after Leona found a greenside bunker. With the par 4 16th playing long into a strong wind, Leona found a greenside bunker with her second shot and Mary sank a 6 foot putt for par to square the match. The 17th hole was halved in pars and both were just short of the green in two on eighteen. Mary chipped to 8 feet and Leona, 12 foot behind the pin, charged it 3 foot past. Mary was looking at a downhill right to left putt for the title and held her nerve to find the bottom of the cup to rapturous applause from the sizeable crowd.

Semi Finals
With the match between Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell) and Louise Coffey (Malone) all square through 14, Leona picked up a gear as has become custom... she won the 15th with birdie, slotted a tough putt home for another super birdie on 16 and tied up the match with a par on the 17th. 
Mary Dowling (New Ross) could well believe she was in a repeat of last years final except this time she will take on Lisa's twin Leona Maguire.   Mary looking for her first Lancome Irish Close is in great form this season with the Cork Scratch Cup already under her belt and she was also runner-up in the Munster Championship.  With the wind in favour of Mary's low ball trajectory she birdied the 12th and 15th - both par 3's and was dormie 3up against Maura Diamond (Royal Portrush).  Maura with the local crowd behind her won the 16th with par but Mary went on to halve the 17th and win 2 and 1. 

Quarter Finals
Maura Diamond won the 15th, 16th and EAGLED the 17th hole to take out Lisa Maguire 3 and 1 and will now challenge last years runner-up Mary Dowling (New Ross) for a place in tomorrows final at Portstewart... 
Louise Coffey (Malone) was the first player to secure her semi final berth defeating past champion from Carlow, Karen Delaney.  Karen was 1up thru 3 but Louise levelled the match by the half way stage and went on to birdie the 13th, won the 14th with par and secured the match on the 15th.
Louise will take on Leona Maguire in this afternoon's semi final.  Leona had a very tight match against Charlene Reid (Royal Portrush). The match was all square playing the eighteenth where Leona found the greenside bunker and Charlene was on the green, Leona had a spectacular up and down from the bunker and a devasted Charlene 3 putted her way out of the championship.
Mary Dowling (New Ross) is looking for one better than last year where she was runner up to Lisa Maguire.  The turning point in her match against Jenny Gannon (Co. Louth) was winning the 8th, 9th and 10th and she never looked back closing out the contest on the 15th.

Championship Round 2

Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell) secured her quarter final place defeating top Senior International Helen Jones by 4 and 3.  The match was level thru 9 before Leona nudged ahead at the 10th, and went on to win the13th and 14th holes, both par 5's measuring 487 and 469 yards respectively impressively reaching both greens in two (neither wind assisted).  Leona will play the well supported Charlene Reid (Royal Portrush) who defeated fellow International Niamh Kitching (Limerick).
Louise Coffey (Malone) and Karen Delaney (Carlow) will compete in the second quarter final line up.  With both players in excellent form it will be a hard result to call from the outset.  In the contest of the afternoon Lisa Maguire (Slieve Russell) beat Victoria Bradshaw (Bangor) with a birdie on the 20th hole.  Victoria who beat Leona in last years Championship at Fota Island was 1 up thru 16 but Lisa levelled the match winning the 17th.  Victoria was unlucky not the win the match on the 18th with Leona sinking a long pressure putt to keep the match alive. Royal Portrush have a second player in the quarters in the form of Maura Diamond, Maura closed out her match against Karen O'Neill (Douglas) on the 14th and will take on Lisa in the morning.
Co. Louth's Jenny Gannon played steady error free golf in her match against Maria Dunne (Skerries) and will play Mary Dowling (New Ross) in the morning.

Championship Round 1
Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell) progressed safely through to the second round despite a sluggish start in her match against Donabate's Pat Doran.  Leona was 3 down through 6 but shot four under in the remainder of her match which she finished on the 15th with birdies at 8th, 11th, 13th and 14th.  Leona will take on Helen Jones (Strabane)who had a fantastic win against the fancied Sue Phillips, Helen birdied 7 and 8 to go 5 up and won the match the thirteenth.
Current Internationals Niamh Kitching (Limerick) and Charlene Reid (Royal Portrush) defeated Tara Gribben (Warrenpoint) and Amy Farrell (Moate) respectively and take on each other for a place in the quarter finals.
Deirdre Smith (Co. Louth) is continuing her good run of form with a 4 and 3 win against Kate Gallagher (Claremorris) and meets fellow scratch cup winner Louise Coffey (Malone) who birdied the 13th, 14th and 15th to see off the challenge of Anne McCormack (Roscommon).
Experience told for Gemma McClenaghan (nee Hagarty) and Karen Delaney (Carlow) which  saw them defeat youngster and best nett winner Jenny Hennessy (Ennis) and Holly Robinson (Co. Sligo) respectively.   Lisa Maguire, like Leona, had a slow start and lost the first but turned on the form on the back nine winning the 13th, 14th and 15th against Sandra Atkinston (Woodbrook) and now plays Victoria Bradshaw (Bangor) who battled hard against Senior Internation Violet McBride (Belvoir Park) for her place in round 2. 
Karen O'Neill (Douglas) had a comfortable win against Laura McCarthy (Muskerry) and will take on Maura Diamond (Royal Portrush) who beat near neighbour and local favourite Lesley Hemphill (Portstewart).
Jenny Gannon's (Co. Louth) approach shots to the 6th and 8th holes for tap-ins turned her match against  Naoimh Quigg (City of Derry) in her favour and she now meets Maria Dunne (Skerries) for a quarter final place.  A real tussle ensued between fellow Internationals Mary Dowling (New Ross) and Gillian O'Leary (Cork).  O'Leary battled from 3 down and was sitting pretty on the par 3 fifteenth only for Dowling to chip in for birdie while O'Leary narrowly missed hers, Dowling went on the win 2 and 1.  Galway's Sinead O'Sullivan was taken to the second tie hole by Gertie McMullen (The Island) before securing her place in the second round.

Ita Wallace Trophy (Plate)
Jessica Carty (Holywood) won the the Ita Wallace Trophy (Plate) defeating Sarah Helly (Enniscrone) in the final. Sarah started well and was 2up thru 2 but Jessica levelled the match with pars at the 3rd and 4th and went 1up with birdie at 5.  At the half way stage the match was level again but Jessica then went 2up thru 12, had a one over score on the back nine and won on the 18th by 2 holes.

Day 2 – Sunday 22nd May
Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell) won the Leitrim Cup by 9 strokes from sister Lisa and Sinead O'Sullivan at the Lancome Irish Women's Close Championship, Portstewart, 22-26 May.

Day 1 – Saturday 22nd May
Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell) carded a stunning five under par 69 on the 6288yd Strand Course at Portstewart to lead the field by 7 shots.

In glorious sunshine but with a stiff easterly morning breeze Leona birdied the par 4 first.  She followed up with birdies at the 7th, 9th 10th and 17th in a quite amazing bogey free round.
Sinead O’Sullivan (Galway) and Lisa Maguire (Slieve Russell) both shot 2 over par rounds of 76, Sinead had a bogey - birdie start and then had an unfortunate double bogey  on the par 5 fourth.  The steadied herself and produced birdies at the 10th and 16th and despite a bogey on the 17th was one under par on the back nine.  Lisa matched her sister with a birdie start and another at the 4th but a double bogey at the 9th brought her back to level par.  She remained level until a bogey at 16 and a three putt on 18 resulted in a 2 over par round. 
Jenny Hennessy (Ennis) produced an amazing round of 77 (nett 68) and lies in fourth place.  Jenny who turned 17 earlier this month birdied the first and second, both tough par 4 opening holes and had another birdie on the par 5 seventeenth.  Certainly a name to watch out for...

Press Release Prior to Championship
Lisa Maguire (Slieve Russell) defends her Lancôme Irish Women’s Close Championship title when competitors tee off at Portstewart Golf Club, Saturday 22 to Wednesday 26 May 2010.

While Lisa starts as tournament favourite, twin sister Leona, the 2008 Champion, looks likely to be her strongest challenger for the trophy.  Both the Maguire twins, in addition to Royal Co. Down’s Danielle McVeigh, have been named on the GB&I team for the upcoming Curtis Cup match versus the USA in mid June.  

Lisa is the current Irish Women’s Stroke Play Champion, while Leona has showed early season form in successfully defending the French Under 21 Championship at the start of April. Various players, including the current British and Scottish Strokeplay Champions Danielle McVeigh, are unavailable for this year’s event due to college examinations.

Previous champions Deirdre Smith (Co. Louth) and Karen Delaney (Carlow) will be keen to recapture the coveted crown while current internationals bidding for glory will include last year’s beaten finalist Mary Dowling (New Ross) and the current Munster Women’s Championship Gillian O’Leary (Cork) as well as Niamh Kitching (Limerick) and Victoria Bradshaw (Bangor).  The field also boasts a number of up and coming stars such as junior internationals Sarah Helly (Enniscrone) and the talented Laura McCarthy (Muskerry).

With valuable Order of Merit points on offer, all  competitors will be looking to impress the Irish selectors ahead of next month’s announcement of the team of four to play in the Under-18 European Team Championships in Denmark and the team of six to play in the Ladies European Team Championships in Spain, both  6-10 July.

The Championship begins Saturday May 22 with the first round of the Leitrim Cup, a 36-hole qualifying stroke play event.  Sunday sees the completion of round two after which the leading 32 players will go into the match play stages of the championship which commence on Monday and conclude with the 18 hole final on Wednesday morning. Those in position 33 thru 48 qualify for the Ita Wallace Trophy. 

he Lancôme Irish Ladies’ Close was first played in 1894, just one year after the foundation of the Irish Ladies’ Golf Union, the oldest national union or association in ladies’ golf and 2010 sees another consecutive year’s hosting of the event, excluding the war years.


Irish Women's Close Championship 2009 - Fota Island Resort




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