Six highly-talented Irish amateurs have accepted invitations to compete at next week’s KPMG Women’s Irish Open at Dromoland Castle from September 22-25.
Leona Maguire has made no secret about how big an impact her appearances at Ladies Irish Opens in the past have had on her now high-flying career and this year’s class of amateur invites are about to experience exactly what the LPGA Tour winner was talking about.
This season’s Bridgestone Women’s Order of Merit champion, Katie Poots is joined by Kate Lanigan (Hermitage), Olivia Costello (Roscommon), Rebekah Gardner (Clandeboye), Marina Joyce Moreno (Club de Golf Llavaneras) and Aideen Walsh (Lahinch/Dromoland).
Knock teenager Poots enjoyed victories at the Fairhaven Trophy in England and the Connacht Women’s Championship but will now experience a first taste of professional action where the benchmark is sure to be set for the promising +4 handicap.
Lanigan will arrive no doubt buoyed by her success with Leinster at the Interprovincial Championships while 14-year old Costello might just prove to be the youngest player in this year’s field. The former KPMG Irish Kids Golf Tour talent is buzzing with excitement ahead of an unexpected Women’s Irish Open debut.
“I’m so excited and thankful I’m going to play my First Ladies European tour event,” tweeted Costello. “I want to especially thank Gordon Smyth @IrishKidsGolf and KPMG for giving me the invite.”
Dromoland member Walsh was the first amateur to be confirmed in the field and she’s hoping to make home advantage count at next week’s event, refusing to simply go there to make up the numbers.
“A lot of people have already told me they’ll come out and watch so hopefully there’ll be a lot of people that have helped me along the way out supporting me,” said Walsh.
“I’ll try and enjoy it but I will set goals for myself. I’ll try not think about the expectations too much because I have learned that equals disaster for me! But I will have certain goals. I’m not going there to make up the numbers; I want to make the cut and do my best and get my best result at the tournament.
“I play the course all the time so there might be a little bit of an advantage but I will still approach it the same as any tournament, go out and do the practice round and take my notes but I’m an amateur and they’re professionals so they have an advantage on me with that.”
The amateur contingent are primed to join the likes of Scandinavian Mixed winner, Linn Grant, defending champion Catriona Matthew and of course our own Solheim Cup star Leona Maguire in the KPMG Women’s Irish Open which returns after a ten-year hiatus.
Tickets to see the stars of the Ladies European Tour in action at the KPMG Women’s Irish Open are now on sale at www.womensirishopen.ie. Four-day tickets are priced at €35 while single-day tickets will cost €15. Under 16s attending the event will also be admitted free of charge.
You can follow the tournament via social media @womensirishopen on Instagram and Twitter.
Listen to this week’s Irish Golfer Podcast