The Ireland women’s team rallied at the European Ladies Team Championships in Royal County Down on Wednesday, qualifying for the match play stages as second seeds.
Placed 6th after the opening 18 holes, the team were determined to secure a spot in the top 8, booking them a place in the top flight and a shot at a European gold medal. Sara Byrne (Douglas) led the team out this morning, adding a level par 73 to her first round 77.
“I was a bit nervous going out yesterday,” admitted Byrne. “You’re always a bit anxious starting out and it’s my first senior cap, but I was happy to hang on yesterday after my start.
“But I’m really happy with how today went. It was an up-and-down round and it got quite tough there towards the end but I birdied the last and it’s great to get in at level for the day and see how the rest of the girls get on.’”
Castlewarden’s Lauren Walsh also improved on her opening round, carding a 1-under par 72.
“It was nice to improve on yesterday,” Walsh said. “It’s one of these golf courses that the more you play it the better you play. Course knowledge and strategy out here is really important. The entire team, we’ve done a good job on that so far and it’s shown in the scores.”
Hannah Darling (Scotland) takes the individual honours, adding a 69 to her 68 first round which also helped secure the top seed for Scotland.
Attention now turns to the match play, where Nations go head-to-head, with two foursomes matches in the morning and five singles matches in the afternoon.
Ireland’s Team Captain Laura Webb insists that the game plan stays the same: In terms of how to play the golf course the strategy doesn’t change. I think for me, what you don’t want is for the players to focus on their opponent’s record or who they are.
“The team has gelled really well. They have worked hard and listened to advice. They’re taking heed of what Donal [Team Coach] is saying and executing it well. If they keep doing the strategic thinking that they have been doing, then we’ve got every chance.”