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McVeigh off to good start

GOLF: Minjee Lee, a 15-year-old from Perth, led the sub-par charge with a superb 68 in the first qualifying round of the Ladies British Open amateur championship at Portrush.

That gave her a three-shot lead over a group of five players on 71, headed by 14-year-old New Zealander Lydia Ko.

Best of the home challengers in joint-seventh on 72 -- two-under -- was new Irish champion Danielle McVeigh.

The Royal Co Down Ladies star hit an eagle three at the par-five seventh but then had a double-bogey seven at the long ninth to turn in level-par 37.

But she came home in two-under-par 35, studded with birdies at 13 and 17.

Lisa Maguire (Slieve Russell) went to the turn in three-under-par 34 as she birdied the second, seventh, ninth and then the 10th to be four-under with eight to play.

But it was all uphill after that. The 16-year-old Curtis Cup player dropped five shots over the next six holes with bogeys at the 11th, 12th and 14th, plus a double-bogey at the 16th. She came home in 41.

But even so Lisa, ranked below her twin Leona in the world ratings, returned a 75 to Leona's 78. Leona had only one birdie at the eighth and she ran up a double-bogey six at the 16th in an inward 40.

Royal Portrush member Charlene Reid had a 76, the same score as Victoria Bradshaw (Bangor).

Deirdre Smith (Co Louth) had a 78, two better than clubmate Jenny Gannon and Cork's Gillian O'Leary.


Fresher conditions off Portland Harbour yesterday brought a turnaround in fortunes for the Irish competing at the Sail for Gold Olympic classes event near Weymouth.

After light winds delayed racing until early evening on Monday, Peter O'Leary and David Burrows extended their lead in the Irish Star class selection trials and are in 10th place overall.

Max Treacy and Anthony Shanks have still to break into the top half of the fleet this week. Irish Independent Sailor of the Month Annalise Murphy bounced back to form with the arrival of the breeze yesterday. She scored a race win plus a second and a fourth.

More windy weather today should see her hold form in these conditions that she is clearly better suited for.

In the 49er skiffs, there was a surprise when Ben Lynch and Ed Butler scored consistent fourth and fifth places, beating their usual upper-mid-fleet form.

EQUESTRIAN: Capt David O'Brien broke the British strangehold on the winner's podium at Mullingar International Horse Show when topping the €20,000 Grand Prix in convincing style riding the Minister for Defence's Annestown.

Irish Independent