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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Lanigan left to fly the flag for Ireland at Women’s Amateur

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Hermitage’s Kate Lanigan will carry Irish hopes into the quarterfinals of The 118th Women’s Amateur Championship after coming through two rounds of knockouts on Thursday at Kilmarnock (Barassie).

Lanigan overcame Scotland’s Lorna McClymont 2&1 in their round two match-up before coasting by Ffion Tynan 4&3 in the afternoon. Lanigan landed three birdies like three daggers to the heart of her Welsh opponent, setting up a quarterfinal contest with Iceland’s Jóhanna Lea Lúðvíksdóttir on Friday.

With six Irishwomen in action on Thursday, Lanigan was the only one to survive some gruelling competition with Kirkistown Castle’s Beth Coulter falling on her shield 1DOWN to Tynan in their last-32 match after impressing throughout the week.

After knocking out the top seed in round one, Lahinch’s Aine Donegan found one too good in Scotland’s Shannon McWilliam, going down 2&1. Clandeboye’s Rebekah Gardner was well beaten, 4&3 by England’s Emily Toy who lost out to Lúðvíksdóttir in the afternoon session.

Canice Screene was beaten 2&1 by England’s Emma Allen while there was despair for Douglas’ Sara Byrne who went into round three full of confidence after overcoming Caitlin Whitehead 3&2 in the morning before an inspired Louise Duncan, three-under on the card, dispatched Byrne 6&4 in their last-16 match.

Meanwhile, Annabell Fuller, the highest ranked player in the field, has kept her dream alive by advancing through to the quarter-finals where she will meet Hannah Darling who played 40 holes on Thursday.

In her morning match Fuller, ranked 42 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, eliminated Carmen Griffith 3&2 to set up an afternoon tie with Maggie Whitehead. After matching birdies on the 1st hole, Fuller had a slip in concentration on the 2nd to go one down early. However, by the fifth hole she had taken control of the match to eventually defeat her younger opponent on the 17th hole, 2&1.

Fuller, who reached the Final of The Women’s Amateur Championship last year, will now meet Hannah Darling in the quarterfinal on Friday.

Darling’s position in the quarterfinal was hard earned. She birdied the 18th hole to send her afternoon match with Hannah Screen to extra holes. It took 22 holes for her to emerge victorious over Screen and after going all the way to the last to defeat Rachel Foster by 1 hole this morning, Darling has played 40 holes on day four of the championship.

As for Friday’s action, Lanigan gets her quarterfinal match underway at 8.30am, with the semifinals also set for a Friday conclusion before the 36-hole final round on Saturday which will be live broadcast on The R&A’s YouTube and Facebook accounts as well as on randa.org

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.

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