Smith sets the pace at Irish Senior Women’s Close

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Smith sets the pace at Irish Senior Women’s Close

Deirdre Smith (Co.Louth) on the 4th tee during Matchplay Day 2 of the AIG Irish Women's Amateur Close Championship, Ballybunion Golf Club, Ballybunion, Co. Kerry, Ireland. 19/06/2021 Picture: Golffile | Thos Caffrey

Co. Louth’s Deirdre Smith leads the field after the first round of stroke play in the Irish Senior Women’s Close Championship at Westport.

The 2004 Irish Women’s Close Champion is playing her first seniors event, and after a three-over-par 77, she sits ahead of a bunched leaderboard that includes defending champion Suzanne Corcoran (Portumna) and Senior International Gertie McMullen (The Island) two shots further adrift.

Smith bowed out in the quarter finals of the AIG Irish Women’s Close at Ballybunion two weeks ago and admits that having some competitive golf under her belt has helped get her game back in shape.

“All our games were rusty at the start of the year, so having the few events at the start of the season and the previous results I’ve had have highlighted what I need to work on,” she said. “We will just see what happens this week, if it works out, that’s the case this week that’s what it is, if it’s not, it’s no big deal.”

One more round of stroke play awaits on Wednesday before the Matchplay section of the Championship begins on Thursday. Corcoran, bidding for four-in-a-row this week in Westport, is well placed in a tie for second to qualify for the match play stages.

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