Scotland’s Lorna McClymont kept Beth Coulter at arms length as she successfully defended her Flogas Irish Women’s Amateur Open title at Woodbrook Golf Club.
Both girls shot three-under 71s which was enough for McClymont to maintain the three-shot gap she began the final round with on sixteen-under-par.
Coulter never gave up the ghost and reduced the deficit to the minimum but a sucker punch eagle from McClymont on the par-5 16th saw her coast home in the end.
The Scot was four clear of her nearest challenger after a opening birdie before Coulter announced her challenge with a superb eagle on the par-5 5th. A bogey from McClymont on the 8th saw the deficit reduced to one before she moved two clear with a huge momentum swinging birdie on 10.
Coulter’s challenge began to falter and the gap was three again after she let a shot go on the par-3 11th but after McClymont chipped for a cast iron birdie on 14 Coulter rolled in an eagle putt from the fringe to reduce the gap to two shots again with two par fives to come.
The Kirkistown Castle woman passed up a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 15th and a bizarre decision to chip with a 3-wood from short of 16 cost her a par before McClymont hammered a nail in the coffin with a 25-foot eagle to move four clear.
A closing bogey was the least of her worries as she picked up her fifth win in six starts.
“I’m over the moon I couldn’t be happier,” beamed McClymont who will celebrate on the ferry home from Belfast on Sunday evening.
“Beth played really well especially at the start when I was slow she really put the pressure on so that was tough but knowing the back nine had opportunities that I could take I stayed calm and was really good.
“The par fives are opportunities but they can also get you. Beth eagled 14 so she was putting the pressure on the back nine.
“The hard work is paying off and taking it one tournament and one shot at a time. It would be good to come back and make it a hat trick next year, I love playing in Ireland.”
Irish Women’s Close and Irish Girls’ Close champion Coulter was disappointed not to make it a clean sweep of Irish titles but she was pleased with her performance having been a late entry following her return home from the US.
“It was a solid three days I’m only home very recently from the States so it was nice to get back into competitive golf in Ireland. I played half decent, I left a lot of shots out there and I suppose that’s good going into the season I’ve a few things to work on.”
Coulter rued missed birdie chances on the par fives 12, 15 and 16.
“You need to be birdieing them down the stretch and I just didn’t. I’m happy enough but a wee bit disappointed still. You need to get on them in two or get up and down for birdie but I didn’t.”
England’s Jessica Hall was third on eleven-under after chipping in for birdie on 18 era 72 while Roscommon’s Olivia Costello was fourth but claimed the Girls title on ten-under with Emma Fleming coming runner-up in that category.
Hermitage’s Kate Lanigan chipped in on 16 and birdied 17 for a level-par 74 and -6 total as she claimed fifth place.
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