Monday 24 July 2017

Maguire fails to find form as title hopes dashed by classy Bonetti

Irish teenage star Lisa Maguire (below) failed in her bid to lift the Girls' British Open title over the Royal Belfast course yesterday, but can still feel proud of her performance during the week.

The 15-year-old Curtis Cup player from Slieve Russell was not at her best in going down by 3&2 in the semi-finals to French champion Alexandra Bonetti, who went on to lift the crown with an emphatic success against Italian Laura Sedda.

Maguire made a very disappointing start when she lost three of the first four holes, all as a result of bogeys.

Bonetti dropped a stroke at the sixth to lose a hole and fall back to only two ahead, but then doubled her advantage when Maguire bogeyed the seventh and eighth on her way to an outward half of 40, five-over par.

A birdie by Maguire at the 10th suggested that she was about to stage a comeback as she played the homeward half well in the quarter-finals.

But it was not to be as she made a mess of the 11th to go four down for a second time.

The Cavan girl's putting started to improve and she holed a testing five-footer at the 12th and then canned a 25-foot putt for a birdie three at the 13th, only for Bonetti to follow her in from 15 feet for a half.

Three down with five holes remaining she was still three behind with three to play and needed a birdie at the 16th to keep the match alive, but could not roll in a 20-foot putt and the hole was halved in four allowing the French champion to move into the final.

Maguire, the leading amateur in the AIB Irish Open, now heads for Wales with her twin sister Leona for next week's British Open Stroke Play championship.

In the other semi-final, Sedda beat Spaniard Andrea Villarasau on the home green.

Bonetti clinched the title with a convincing 7&6 victory over Sedda.

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