Castlewarden’s Lauren Walsh came within a whisker of a maiden professional title but can take great encouragement from a runner-up result on her LET Access Series debut.
Walsh signed off with a three-under par round of 70, almost reeling in overnight leader Lianna Bailey from England but coming up just one shot short at the finish.
Entering the final round six shots back, Walsh fired five birdies, including two in a blemish-free homeward half and while Bailey could only manage a two-over 75 in the final round, it was enough to limp over the line at the Links Series at Ramside Hall.
All-told, Walsh finished alone in second place at five-under in just her second start as a professional having missed the cut on her LPGA Tour debut at last week’s Dana Open.
Having risen to as high as 10th in the amateur world rankings, Walsh, a two-time Curtis Cup player, turned to the paid ranks with plenty of promise and finishes like this one should go a long way towards securing some status on the main Ladies European Tour.
“I’m happy enough with the week,” Walsh reflected. “I played some really nice golf today. Despite shooting four-under the first day I really didn’t have my best game the first two days so it was nice to play more like myself today.
“I gave myself a lot more chances for birdie in more difficult conditions so it was great to play well and give myself a chance at it.
“They’ve another event here at Ramside next week so looking forward to another crack at it. The goal before the week was just to get some competitive rounds under my belt before Galgorm and Q-School so obviously delighted with how things worked out.
“The LET Access Series is obviously a pathway to the Ladies European Tour so while I’m going back to Q-School for the LPGA, it would be nice to get some bonus status on the LET as a result of playing well out here in the meantime.”