Hermitage’s Kate Lanigan is hoping to make up for lost time as she ends a five-year wait and returns to the Flogas Irish Women’s and Girls’ Amateur Open Championship which tees off at Woodbrook this morning.
Reigning champion Lorna McClymont (Milngavie) will begin her title defence at 11.56am alongside Beth Coulter (Kirkistown Castle) and Roisin Scanlon (Woburn) as 88 players challenge her for the crown.
Knock’s Katie Poots will be hoping to go one better this year after her win in the 2022 girls’ event where she was also a runner-up in the women’s section. Olivia Costello (Roscommon) will also be one to watch coming off the back of her win at the Scottish Girls’ Open.
Lanigan is looking forward to her return to this year’s championships having not being able to compete in it since 2018 due to exams.
“I haven’t been able to play the last few years because it has clashed with my college exams. The last time I played it was held in Baltray so I’m looking forward to playing this year,” said Lanigan.
“This and the Close are the big ones for me being from Ireland. The big feature with this event is that you get the international field. This year it is one of the best fields that Ireland has had in a long time. There are a few of the American college players back in time and there is a huge international presence which strengthens the field. It’s great to see.”
“People are looking to play more international golf now. A lot of the Irish girls have gone over and played the Scottish women’s, Welsh women’s and so on over the last few weeks so a lot of those girls are coming back over to Ireland to play in our event.
“These tournaments are also great opportunities to get your WAGR down. It shows where our golf is at as they are looking to come play our courses.”
The 22-year-old from Meath is also looking to use her experience into the start of her upcoming tournament run and has competitive rounds under her belt at the newly revamped Woodbrook.
“We had the Woodbrook Scratch Cup recently which was a great success there. It was great to see the course and play under competitive conditions. I’ve been out there the last few weeks and have been playing nine holes in the evenings,” said Lanigan.
“I will play the official practice round, but I know the course quite well now. They have put a lot of work into the course and they have two new holes. One just opened a few weeks ago but I got to see them for the first-time last week.
“They have a new Par 3 and Par 4. They are a lovely addition to the course. The course is in amazing condition and the greens are fantastic. All we need now is some good weather and the scores will be really good.”
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