Friday 24 November 2017

Irish girls see off Scots in historic Home victory

'Lowry (p) carded a one-over-par 71 to miss the cut by one shot on level-par.' Photo: Getty
'Lowry (p) carded a one-over-par 71 to miss the cut by one shot on level-par.' Photo: Getty

Ireland won the Girls Home International Championship for the first time at Conwy on the North Wales coast yesterday courtesy of a nail-biting 5-4 victory over Scotland.

It did not look too bright for the Irish at lunchtime as they trailed 2-1 following the morning foursomes but some brilliant golf in the afternoon reaped huge rewards. Scotland needed only a draw to take the crown but Ireland had to win.

Lurgan's 15-year-old Annabel Wilson launched the fightback with a 5&3 success over Joanne Free and then Irish girls' champion Julie McCarthy, Niamh McSherry and Lauren Walsh gave champagne performances to steer their side home.

It was when debutant Walsh from Castlewarden overcame Jillian Farrell by 3&1 that the celebrations could begin.

Their triumph ended England's eight-year reign as champions - Scotland finished second with England third and Wales the wooden spoonists. It was a very different story in the women's internationals as Ireland had to settle for third place after losing 5-4 to Scotland.

Curtis Cup star Olivia Mehaffey secured five points out of six but Maria Dunne's loss on the 18th to Eilidh Briggs cost Ireland dearly as it meant defeat rather than a half.

England won the title to add to their European crown.

Maurice Kelly, a veteran international from Naas, finished in a highly-creditable share of fifth place in the Seniors Open Amateur Championship at Formby on the Lancashire coast yesterday.

He ended with a level-par score of 72 for a 54-hole aggregate of 223. He was two-under par at the turn and chasing the leaders but he then had two bogeys on the homeward stretch. That put him three strokes adrift of the champion Chip Lutz from America. But Kelly left Formby with an award as he was the top player over 65 years of age, winning that category by two strokes.

Former champion Adrian Morrow of Portmarnock was joint 10th on 225, while Cork's Tom Cleary was tied for 23rd spot on 229.

Meanwhile, hopes of the Irish picking up a medal at the European Amateur Championship in Estonia disappeared yesterday.

Best placed Irishmen after round three are Castle's Alex Gleeson , Stuart Grehan of Tullamore and Dubliner Paul McBride in joint 43rd on 214. They are the only Irish to qualify for today's final round.

Elsewhere, there were mixed fortunes on the PGA Tour for Shane Lowry and Pádraig Harrington at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut last night.

Lowry carded a one-over-par 71 to miss the cut by one shot on level-par. The Offaly man's hopes were undone by a double-bogey seven on the par-five sixth hole, his 15th.

Harrington made it through to the weekend after a one-under 69 left him on one-under last night, six behind the clubhouse leader South Africa's Tyrone van Aswegen.

The Dubliner had to birdie his last hole, the par-four ninth, the make the cut ahead of his Olympic trip to Rio next week.

In Scotland, Michael Hoey's progress at the Paul Lawrie Match Play event at the Archerfield links ended at the last-16 stage.

The Northern Irish player defeated England's Matthew Southgate 2&1 in the last 32 but later went down to another Englishman, James Morrison, 4&3.

Morrison will face Alejandro Canizares in last eight today, while Johan Carlsson, Alex Noren, Maximilian Kieffer, Anthony Wall, Haydn Porteous and Oliver Fisher are also through.

Aberdeen Asset Management Paul Lawrie Match Play

Live, Sky Sports 4, 10.0am/2.0pm

Travelers Championship

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Irish Independent

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