Right now, Kate Lanigan is busy cramming and absorbing every bit of information she can in preparation for her final year exams, but the reward at the end of a gruelling period will be a first Flogas Irish Women’s & Girls’ Amateur Open Championship appearance since 2018.
The Trinity College student is studying Business Economics and Social Studies and has missed the last few editions of the Women’s Amateur Open as it has always fallen around her exams. This time around the timetable has fallen her way and she will be one of the front runners in Woodbrook in three weeks time.
As exams loom large, Lanigan has had to bide her time, chipping in her bedroom as she puts her academic abilities to the test.
“I have all my clubs in my room and I’m chipping across my room but it’s more out of procrastination,” jokes Lanigan. “I was disappointed not to be going to Spain for the girls but I’ve played loads of golf so I can’t be too disappointed.
“I’ve been able to play six or seven events so I’ve had it easy so I can’t complain, cramming away now, my own fault!”
The Hermitage golfer is relishing putting the books way and getting the clubs out ahead of a busy summer of golf, starting at the Women’s & Girls Open.
“I’m using the event as an opportunity to get rid of a bit of rust but looking at the field it’s great to see the defending champion Lorna McClymont coming back, she’s a super player. it’s bringing the best domestically as well so it’s good for everyone in Ireland to come together.
“I haven’t been able to play it over the last couple of years because it has always clashed with exams so I made sure to check this year and when I saw I could play this year I was absolutely delighted.
“We’re in the period where the girls have been abroad in Scotland and Wales so it’s nice to see an international field come back and play in Ireland. Hopefully the weather is in our favour and Woodbrook is a great location not too far from the airport so it should be handy for the internationals.”
A strong field is pencilled in to compete in Woodbrook with Lanigan part of a healthy Irish contingent including Girls champion Katie Poots, Ulster Strokeplay winner Aideen Walsh, Roisin Scanlon, Olivia Costello, Kate Dwyer, Marina Joyce-Moreno and Emma Fleming.
Once again there will be no place for US based stars Lauren Walsh, Beth Coulter, Aine Donegan, Anna Foster and Annabel Wilson among others as the championship clashes with their collegiate schedule.
“It’s an awkward slot in the schedule,” Lanigan admits having experienced first hand the misfortune of academic and sporting clashes. “Obviously the girls in America can’t play. The first one we will all be together will be the Irish Close. It fits in nicely though with the Scratch Cup and to have a big event like this after strengthens the schedule.”
Lanigan competed in March’s Woodbrook Scratch Cup which attracted a stellar Irish field in preparation for the championship date. She finished third, two shots behind Kate Dwyer.
“I think everyone who plays golf in Ireland played that, it had such a big field! It was great to see the course and I think everyone had the same intention so the field was so good. It’s in great condition and to have two new holes open will be great, was nice to get a tester and see what’s coming up.”
The Trinity student has been in good form in the early part of the season and boasts a runner-up finish at the R&A Student Series in Portugal. Once she dusts the rust off she is raring to attack the season with a KPMG Women’s Irish Open appearance on her radar.
“The Women’s stroke play starts a run of five events in a row, I’ll head over to the British AM, Ulster Strokeplay and then back for the Close, it will be incredibly busy, lots of travelling, on the ferry a few times as well. Hopefully I can put in some strong performances and see the WAGR come down as well.
“The Women’s Irish Open are doing a transparent points based system this year. The top-2 based off WAGR and one or two invites to players who finish high in the Close, British Amateur and European Amateur as well.
“Hopefully I can enjoy an invite in September.”
Lanigan missed the cut on her debut showing last year as the KPMG Women’s Irish Open made a return to the LET schedule after a decade away and she is itching to get another taste of it this year.
It’s hard not to get caught up in the week, looking back I wish maybe I calmed down a little more and tried to enjoy it.
“It was mad walking into the players lounge with your badge and being on the course with Solheim Cup players like Caroline Hedwall, with women like Leona beside you on the range.
“It was an incredible experience and hopefully I can get another invite. Dromoland and KPMG went to a lot of effort and it was a fantastic event. It’s great to have Leona coming back. I’d say 99% of the supporters were watching her last year and you could hear the roars all over the course which was really cool.”
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