Wednesday 13 December 2017

Maguire sisters on course for last-eight showdown

Twin sisters Leona and Lisa Maguire are both through to the third round of the Girls British Open Championship at Royal Belfast.

The Slieve Russell duo are the only non-continentals into the last 16 and they could be on a collision course, because if both win this morning, they will meet head-on in the quarter-finals this afternoon.

Leona, the French U-20 champion, first beat Finland's Emily Penttila by 5&3 in the opening round, but then had to battle hard to defeat England's Lauren Taylor on the home green.

Lisa, the leading amateur in the Irish Open at the weekend, overcame Spaniard Noemi Jiminez by 4&2 and then got the better of Swede Emelie Lundstrom by 3&2.

"I played well enough and felt I deserved to win, being at about two under par," said Leona, who beat another 15-year-old in Taylor.

She had four birdies -- at the third, fifth, 10th and 18th -- but was one down after two holes before winning four in a row to take command and after that always had her nose in front, although it was tough getting over the finishing line.

Lisa was also two under par when seeing off Lundstrom. She always held the upper hand, was three up with five to play and held on with three halves.

There is not much to separate the Cavan twins -- they are both Curtis Cup record-breakers, having played this year against USA -- and their records are very similar. Both have won Irish titles.

Now Leona faces Germany's Antonia Scherer, while Lisa tackles Spaniard Camilla Hedberg: both have pledged that if they play one another this afternoon there will be no sisterly love.

Also through to the last 16 is top seed Julie Yang, bidding to become the first Korean to win the crown.

Meanwhile, Jeff Hopkins led the Irish charge into the knock-out stages of the British Boys Open Champion-ship in Kilmarnock yesterday.

The Irish youths champion from Skerries, with an aggregate of 144, comfortably made it into the 64 for the knock-out phase.

Dermot McElroy and Chris Selfridge, both of whom, like Hopkins, played a crucial role in helping Ireland win the Boys Home Internationals, are safely through on 145 and 147 respectively; a little further back, Alex Gleeson and Jamie Richardson also survived.

Results in factfile

Irish Independent

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