Friday 23 February 2018

Maguire brings hope in Vagliano

Teenage wonder Leona Maguire produced a champagne display at Royal Porthcawl on the South Wales coast yesterday to record a crucial victory, which gave Britain and Ireland a glimmer of hope of regaining the Vagliano Trophy from the Continent of Europe.

It was generally a bleak day for the hosts, who trail 7.5 to 4.5 at the halfway stage and require eight points from the 12 at stake today to reclaim the trophy they last won at Chantilly in 2005.

But Maguire, fresh from her success in the Irish Open Stroke Play Championship last weekend, was always in charge of her singles match against French golfer Manon Gidali, soon establishing a three-hole lead and going on to win 3&2.

Surprisingly, Maguire (below) was left out of the foursomes, but she has been included in this morning's session, playing with Danielle McVeigh against Madelene Sagstrom and Therese Koelbaek, while Royal Portrush's Stephanie Meadow again plays with Pamela Pretswell against Sophie Popov and Lara Katzy.

A big disappointment yesterday was the last-green singles defeat of Meadow, who was three-up with six to play against Sagstrom but then lost 12, 13, 15 and 16 to fall behind.

McVeigh was up some of the way against Camilla Hedberg in a closely fought match but, in the end, she had to settle for a half.

Meanwhile, Alan Dunbar stepped up his challenge for the Brabazon Trophy at Burnham and Berrow with a stunning three-under-par 68 in his second round.

That gave the Rathmore star a 36-hole aggregate of 140 -- just two strokes off the halfway pace set by Neil Raymond.

Reeve Whitson of Mourne and Carlow's John Greene remained very much in contention with solid performances.

Whitson had seven bogeys in the first seven holes but came home in 34 for a 72 and a 145 aggregate.

Greene improved by 11 strokes on his Thursday performance, returning a 68 with level halves of 34 for a 147 total.

Portstewart's Irish Close champion Paul Cutler, unhappy with his 79 on Thursday, improved by six strokes yesterday to survive the halfway cut.

County Sligo's Barry Anderson improved by 18 strokes on Thursday's dismal showing but that was too late to save him from the axe.

Irish Independent

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