When the going gets tough, Aideen Walsh gets going and the Clare woman is ready to embrace all the elements at this week’s AIG Irish Women’s Amateur Close Championship in Connemara.
The Lahinch woman has grown up on links golf so she is well versed in the challenges that Mother Nature can bring.
“When I reflect on my golf career, sometimes when the weather is at its worst I seem to really shoot up! Whatever the weather is, usually when it’s windy and raining I usually do OK. Most people deteriorate in the wind and rain but I think it’s great. I’m so used to those conditions in Lahinch,” Walsh told the Golf Ireland podcast.
The two-time Ulster Strokeplay champion reached the quarter finals of the Women’s Close last year at Grange Golf Club and she hopes a return to a familiar terrain can see her go a couple of rounds better.
“I’m really looking forward to the week. I love links golf, obviously being from Lahinch I absolutely love it. I had a good run in the Irish Close last year so I feel I have lots of positives to take from my results so far this year so really looking forward to it.
“All the girls are back from America, which is nice. It’s always really nice to compete against them, they’re all really good so the standard this week should be very high.”
The Ennis schoolteacher will tee off at 10:39 AM with Ballybunion Scratch Cup winner Mairead Martin of Kanturk and Junior Vagliano team member Kate Dillon of Oughterard.
The championship will take on a new format this year with 18 holes of strokeplay qualifying being played on Thursday and Friday before the top-16 advance to the championship match play after 36 holes, with the top 17-32 playing for the plate in another knockout phase.
“They changed the format this year so last year was top-32 for the championship matchplay and the next 16 for the Plate. So this year it’s top-16 for the Championship and next sixteen for the Plate . It’s slightly different and it’s 18, 18 rather than 36 in one day of qualifying.
“Yeah I think it’s a good format. In Connemara the weather might be bad, but we might get lucky but if we didn’t, 36 holes in Connemara in one day wouldn’t be ideal.”