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2005 Lancome Irish Ladies Close Championship - Portsalon

2005 Lancome Irish Ladies Close Championship - Portsalon

22 June 2005

31 year old Tricia Mangan (Ennis) is the new Irish Champion after a 3/2 win over rookie Catherine Tucker (Limerick) at Portsalon Golf Club, 22 June 2005.

Tucker won the first with a cast iron par 4 and held that lead until her bogey 5 on the 3rd. She nudged ahead again when Mangan found an unplayable lie off the tee on 4 but was soon pegged back when she bunkered her tee shot on 5. Mangan then parred the next two and when 8 was halved, still stood 2 up. Tucker holed out with an 8 iron approach to 9 for an eagle 2 to go back to just one down. 10 was halved in par, Tucker bogeyed 11 and both registered pars on 12. Mangan's approach to 13 hit a tree and the hole was conceded. 14 was halved in par 4.Tucker bunkered her tee shot to the par 3 15th and failed to hole her 6 footer across the hill to go two behind. Mangan's approach to 16 flew over the flag and when she bottled the return 8 footer for a birdie - it was all over. A delighted Mangan tearfully rejoiced "it was absoultely brilliant. I was so thrilled to see the last putt drop. It was worth every minute of all the hours of practice I've spent". "I've been really close many times but it's fabulous to finally be crowned Irish Champion, what a wonderful couple of weeks" she added. Mangan paid tribute to the battling qualities of her opponent and predicted a strong future for the talented 19 year old.  Ann Heskin, ILGU President, expressed her delight with the hosting of the championship at Portsalon Golf Club. "The course was in fantastic condition and the welcome received was second to none. The golf matched the scenery and it was a shame that we had waited almost a hundred years to return to this wonderful links".
Mangan now leads the Irish Team at the European Team Championships in Karlstad, Sweden 5-9 July 2005.

Ladies European Team Championships, Karlstad, Sweden, 5-9 July
Claire Coughlan (Cork), Tara Delaney (Carlow), Martina Gillen (Beaverstown), Tricia Mangan (Ennis), Heather Nolan (Shannon) and Deirdre Smith (Co. Louth)
Reserves: Catherine Tucker (Limerick), Maria Dunne (Skerries), Maura Morrin (Curragh)

U18 Girls European Team Championships, Lucerne, Switzerland, 5-9 July
Fiona Carroll (Athenry), Sarah Faller (Galway), Emma Gilmore (Mountbellew), Danielle McVeigh (Royal Co. Down Ladies)
Reserves: Victoria Bradshaw (Bangor), Linda Toomey (Limerick)

Semi-finals
Catherine Tucker (Limerick) created yet another shock in the tournament when she defeated Karen Delaney 5/4 in the first semi-final this morning. Tucker birdied the first and was back to level when Delaney birdied the 5th. She won 7 and 9 in par and then both shared the 10th with par 3s. Tucker then found over drive birdieing 11, pitching in for 2 on 12 and holing out on 13 for a birdie 3, only to be followed in by Delaney for a half. She birdied her fourth hole in a row, the 14th, to close out the match 5/4.The Tricia Mangan (Ennis) and Marian Riordan (Tipperary) affair was a very different game entirely. Both players matched par on the outward nine and Riordan finally broke the deadlock with a birdie 2 on 10. Mangan replied swiftly with a birdie 4 on 11 and again both continued to match par through to 16. On 17, Mangan holed her approach shot for an eagle 3 to take a slender lead to the 18th tee. Mangan's approach to the par 5 finished left of the green while O'Riordan's finished 25 feet short of the hole. Mangan pitched to 3 feet while O'Riordan's putt just failed to take the break and squeezed by. Mangan duly holed her 3 footer and now faces surprise finalist Catherine Tucker in the afternoon.With numerous upsets this week, the selectors face an unenviable task of selecting 6 players for the Ladies European Team Championships in Sweden next month.

1/4 finals
Curtis Cup star Claire Coughlan (Cork) bowed out of the 2005 championship following a 2/1 defeat to the in form Karen Delaney (Carlow). Trailing by one hole playing the short 15th, Coughlan missed her birdie putt to level the match. Delaney made no mistake on 16 with her approach shot into 4 feet. She went on to wrap up the match with another birdie on 17.Sinead Keane (Curragh) having won on the 20th that morning, went out to Catherine Tucker (Limerick) on the second tie hole. Keane lead from early on but lost 16 and 17 before winning 18 to force extra time. Tricia Mangan (Ennis) always had the advantage in the all-Clare duel with fellow International Heather Nolan (Shannon) and holed from 8 feet on 16 to end the match. Currrent International Tara Delaney (Carlow) came from behind to win 17 and halve 18 in par with Marian Riordan (Tipperary). Both hit solid drives on 19 and Riordan almost holed for an eagle 2 with her approach. Her tap-in birdie was enough to see her through to a tie with Tricia Mangan in the second semi-final tomorrow. Either way, a new Irish Champion will lift the title tomorrow as all four semi-finalists have never won the title previously.

Pat Doran (Donabate) beat Naoimh Quigg (City of Derry) to win the Ita Wallace Plate, which she also won at Murvagh in 2003.

Second round
Champion Deirdre Smith (Co. Louth) bowed out of this year's Lancome Close championship after a mamoth battle with fellow International Heather Nolan (Shannon). After a birdie 2 at the 10th, Smith held a four hole lead only to lose the next. She maintained that lead and was still 3 ahead thru 15. Nolan then found a higher gear and won 16, 17 and birdied 18 to take the match to extra time where a par on 19 put an end to Smiths hopes of back-to-back victories.Elsewhere, Catherine Tucker (Limerick) beat Maura Diamond (Royal Portrush), conquerer of the leading qualifier on 18. Sinead Keane (Curragh) beat strongly fancied Martina Gillen (Beaverstown) on tie holes while Claire Coughlan saw off fellow International Sinead O'Sullivan on 18. The Delaney sisters continue their return to form while the all-Clare pairing of Tricia Mangan (Ennis) and Heather Nolan (Shannon) ensures a Munster representative in tomorrow's semi finals.

First round
Leading qualifier Maura Morrin (Curragh) was sensationally beaten on the 20th hole by 32nd qualifier Maura Diamond (Royal Portrush). Morrin was in control from the very start and enjoyed a 3 hole lead on the 9th tee. 12, 13 and 14 changed hands but Morrin was still 2 holes to the good on the 17th tee. Diamond recorded a strong birdie 4 to take the match to 18, where she hit a 5 wood over 200 yards to 1 foot for an eagle 3. The 19th was halved in par and Diamond secured the upset of the tournament with a par 5 on the 20th. Elsewhere, 3rd qualifier Danielle McVeigh (RCDL) was beaten on 17 while current International Helen Jones (Strabane) was taken to the 19th by Co. Louth's Jennifer Gannon, where a par saw Jones thru to play Tara Delaney (Carlow).

Qualifying
Maura Morrin (Curragh) won the Leitrim Cup as leading qualifier at the Lancome Irish Ladies Close Championship at Portsalon Golf Club, 19-22 June 2005.  Her excellent 3 under for 36 holes saw her open with a birdie 3 at the first and birdies at 4, 6, 9, 17 and 18 saw her see-saw her way to a morning 74, leading by 1 stroke from Carlow's Tara Delaney. The ship steadied somewhat in the afternoon and birdies at 6 and 9 saw her turn 1 under. A bogey at the short 12th was the only blemish on the final 9 and with birdies on 17 and 18, her 73 was the best of the day.
Morrin now meets Royal Portrush's Maura Diamond in the first round. Elsewhere, Tara Delaney marked a return to form birdieing the 11 and 12 in the morning to record a level par opening round. Birdies at 8, 10 and 11 saw her return a 1 under 74 in the afternoon to lead Danielle McVeigh (RCDL) in third spot. McVeigh's day was exciting indeed. A level par 75 in the morning saw her comfortably attack the back 18 and birdies at 12, 13, 14 and 15 saw her well in pole position only to take a wretched 9 at the par 5 17th. A birdie at 18 was some consolation as she returned a level par 150 for the 36 holes.  Defending champion Deirdre Smith (Co. Louth) qualified comfortably with 77 and 79 and meets Niamh Kitching (Claremorris) at 12 noon. 

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