By Valerie Clancy.
Douglas golfer Clodagh Coughlan is keeping her expectations low as she returns from injury and tries to hit form this summer with today’s Connacht Over 18 Women’s Senior Amateur Open the primary target now.
The 24-year-old finished T9 in the Flogas Irish Women’s Amateur Open Championship in Woodbrook and is steadily picking up pace heading into the height of the summer months.
That performance ensures she lies sixth in the Bridgestone Order of Merit with Emma Fleming (Elm Park) continuing to lead the way, while Kate Lanigan (Hermitage) and Anna Abom (Edmondstown) are now second and third following a couple of solid performances in the Ulster Stroke Play.
But Coughlan is focusing on her own game in Loughrea today and she feels ready to put up a big display out west.
“I’ve never played Loughrea before so I played a few holes there on Friday after school when I got up and I walked the back nine to see how it was. But it’s just like any game of golf, hitting greens and fairways and trying to make a few putts drop and seeing where you are at the end of it all,” said Coughlan.
“Like any competition you are trying to finish high up. I’ve been unfortunate lately where I’ve been a bit injured so I’ve been out for four and a half weeks and slowly made my way back with some chipping and putting.
“My first competition back was the Irish Women’s Amateur, so it was great to be back for that and I also got to play the Ballybunion Scratch Cup last week, so my expectations are low but at the same time you do want to finish well at events.
“We will have to see how it goes but I am confident enough that my game is in good enough shape.”
The Cork native will tee it up at 12.40pm alongside Shannon Burke (Ballinrobe) and Tracy Eakin (Dooks) this afternoon.
65 players will challenge for the two titles on offer, with the Connacht Over 18 Women’s Junior Amateur Open also taking place in Loughrea.
And Coughlan, who is a full-time Special Needs Assistant, is looking forward to playing more golf during her summer holidays.
“I’m feeling good about the event. My game is in good shape at the moment. I did well in the Irish Women’s Amateur and was happy with how I played,” said Coughlan.
“I’m looking to drive on from that and seeing how it goes. I won’t be putting a whole lot of pressure on myself. Anything can happen in one round so it’s just about keeping it together and making a few pars and seeing how it goes.”