Irish quartet coast into Women’s Amateur Match Play draw

Paula Grant - Picture by Pat Cashman

The ILGU will be well represented in the last-64 of this year’s Women’s Amateur Championship after Paula Grant, Jessica Ross, Laura Webb and Beth Coulter breezed through stroke play qualifying.

Lisburn golfer Grant has been a top-performing working amateur for many years now and continued to shine at West Lancashire GC.

Grant was typically rock-solid, trading two birdies with two bogeys to qualify just a shot off top spot after returning an even par round of 72, the best of the Irish on Wednesday.

Clandeboye’s Ross was joined by East Berkshire’s Webb at three over par after both players signed for 75’s. It’s a particularly great performance from Webb, a two-time Senior Women’s Amateur Champion who at 57-years of age, is the oldest player in this week’s field.

Kirkistown Castle’s Beth Coulter completed the Irish quartet safely through to the match play rounds after signing for a four-over par 76.

Knock’s Katie Poots (+10) and Castletroy’s Chloe Ryan (+14) missed out on the six-over par cut mark.

Five players finished under par to lead stroke play qualifying at the 117th renewal of the championship.

At the renowned venue in the north-west, the English trio of Emily Price, Rosie Belsham and Isabelle Simpson were joined by Carolina Melgrati from Italy and Denmark’s Amalie Leth-Nissen in signing for one-under-par rounds of 71.

From a starting field of almost 100 competitors aged from 13 to 57, the quintet led the top 64 players into the match play stage.

With stroke play qualifying reduced to one round after Tuesday’s inclement weather, play was delayed a further hour on Wednesday morning due to strong winds. West Lancashire, hosting the championship for the first time, was then blessed with far more favourable conditions.

In-form Price, who won the English Women’s Amateur Championship earlier this month, was three under par for her last 14 holes, with recent North East Faldo Series winner Belsham playing the tougher back nine in one-under.

Leth-Nissen claimed three birdies in her last five holes and now faces sibling rivalry as she meets sister, Cecilie, in the opening last-64 tie tomorrow morning. Meanwhile Melgrati made timely back-to-back birdies at the 16th and 17th. Simpson dropped just two shots in her own one-under effort.

The cut for the leading 64 players (ties for the last place were decided by card countback) fell at six-over-par.

Defending champion Emily Toy sealed her place on the cut mark, with home club member Hollie Muse and Italian Alessia Nobilio, the world number five, also progressing on one-over and two-over respectively. Laura Webb, a two-time Senior Women’s Amateur champion, also progressed on three-over.

The match play stage gets underway on Thursday with each tie consisting of one round of 18 holes including the Final on Saturday. There are significant rewards for the champion with exemptions into the AIG Women’s Open and, traditionally, the US Women’s Open, The Evian Championship and Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship.

Full scoring HERE

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