Walsh the leading qualifier in AIG Women’s Close

Ronan MacNamara
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Walsh the leading qualifier in AIG Women’s Close

Aideen Walsh (Lahinch) on the 8th tee during Round 1 of the AIG Irish Women's Close Championship 2022 at the Grange Golf Club in Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin, Ireland on Saturday 11th June 2022. Picture: Thos Caffrey / Golffile

Aideen Walsh has won the Leitrim Cup as Leading Qualifier at the 2022 AIG Irish Women’s Amateur Close.

The Lahinch golfer ended her 36-holes on Level Par, two shots clear of 2021 Semi-Finalist Olivia Costello.

Walsh and Costello were the only two players to break par in either round on the Par 73 course at Grange GC, with Walsh’s 72 coming in the morning, and Costello’s 71 in the afternoon.

Speaking after being confirmed as Leading Qualifier, Walsh was delighted with the honour in her first appearance in the Championship. “It’s hard to believe. It’s my first time playing the Close, so to be Leading Qualifier is a great start. It’s a new competition starting tomorrow with Matchplay. It’ll be all about resetting tomorrow.

“The course is really tricky. It’s all about staying patient out there, especially on the greens. There is no flat putt out there either.

“All I’ve played is Strokeplay since January, so I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. It’ll be brilliant to play Matchplay before the British Amateur next week too!”

After reaching the last four in Ballybunion last year, Costello wanted to continue that form this week in Grange.

“I had a few things to work on throughout the day, and it was all about focusing on my own game. “I can only do what I can do tomorrow, and take it hole by hole. I learned a lot from last year’s run, and I know what to expect for the rest of the competition.”

The top-32 have qualified for the Championship, where they will play one round on Sunday. The next 16 players will play two rounds in the Ita Wallace Plate.

Among the highlights in the Championship draw is Ireland international Aine Donegan against Ireland senior international Gertie McMullen, and former girls international Anna Dawson against Grange’s Sheena McElroy.

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