Thrills and spills for Walsh but 16th hole costs her weekend at Dromoland

Ronan MacNamara
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Thrills and spills for Walsh but 16th hole costs her weekend at Dromoland

Aideen Walsh (Photo ©INPHO/James Crombie)

Aideen Walsh insists she will learn from her KPMG Women’s Irish Open experience despite agonisingly missing the halfway cut by a shot in Dromoland Castle. 

Walsh finished level-par after rounds of 71 and 73 to miss out by the minimum and it was indeed just a single shot that cost her on the golf course on Friday. 

The Dromoland member found her ball one yard off the fairway on the par-5 16th and drew a rather ugly lie. However, needing one birdie in her final three holes to edge into the weekend she felt her hand was forced and she tried to muscle a wood onto the green. 

Unfortunately for her the ball came out dead and trickled into the hazard 100 yards ahead of her and that ultimately told the story. 

The 24-year-old almost pulled off an incredible rescue mission on 18. Needing an eagle to make the cut, her chip from just short of the green stopped a roll short of the hole, but she acknowledged it was her decision to go for the green on 16 that cost her. 

“Probably a rookie move thinking of the cut on that one, it’s just golf, painful at times. To be fair I will learn from it and move on, won’t dwell on it too long,” said Walsh who won the Women’s Home Internationals with Ireland and the AIG Senior Cup with Lahinch this summer. 

“The lie wasn’t great but it was just a bad decision I will probably regret that for a while but that’s golf. 

“I’m disappointed obviously.” 

The Ennis schoolteacher looked down and out at two-over after three successive bogeys on her front nine. She rallied with back-to-back birdies on six and seven but back-to-back bogeys either side of the turn looked to have dashed her hopes again. 

But Walsh came roaring back, a birdie on 13 and an up and down from the bunker on the short 15th brought her back into the mix at level-par with a large crowd cheering her on. 

You could cut the tension with a knife with friends and family muttering ‘come on Aideen’ under their breath as she stood over shots and then Irish fans gathered to ramp up the atmosphere. 

But like Rory McIlroy in his home Open Championship, Walsh came up just shy but she thoroughly enjoyed herself and didn’t look out of place alongside Solheim Cup legend Caroline Hedwall as she warmed up the crowd on a chilly afternoon. 

“I had a great week as long as the tournament goes well and a big crowd come along. Leona is still in it which is great. 

“Loads of friends and family there. I gave them a few cheers with a few birdies not like just the one yesterday! I haven’t even looked at the card it was very up and down, one of those days,” explained Walsh who carded five birdies on Friday. 

“I’d love to come back again I wouldn’t be the type to shy away from these things. I’ll sit down and see what I can learn from the week I did better than I thought I would. It’s the biggest tournament I have ever played in, the biggest crowds I have ever seen. I was level par for 36 holes so it wasn’t terrible. 

“Today was a tougher day I’m not one to think about draws you just play whatever time you play at, it was definitely gusting in the afternoon.” 

Close but no cigar. 

Meanwhile Marina Joyce Moreno, Rebekah Gardner, Katie Poots, Kate Lanigan and Olivia Costello all missed the cut but will be looking forward to potentially receiving invites next year. 

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