Ireland come up just short in Abu Dhabi

The Irish team of Sara Byrne, Áine Donegan and Beth Coulter

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Ireland captain Naoimh Quigg believes the future is bright as her team finished T13 in the Espirito Santo Trophy at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

The team of Áine Donegan (-1), Sara Byrne (E) and Beth Coulter (+7) battled hard against the best players in the world at the World Amateur Team Championships.

There were sweltering conditions all week, and ultimately it was the Lahinch golfer, Donegan, who made the most of her chances and she was still in contention in the individual rankings heading into the final round.

However, a closing 74 ensured she finished in T25, just ahead of Byrne, who ended up in T31. The Douglas golfer was tied for the lead after the opening round.

Coulter also had a strong start to the week but couldn’t back up her initial round of 71 and Ireland were unfortunate to miss out on a top ten finish.

“Coming into the week you obviously want to win, but our goal was definitely top 10. A bit disappointing not to achieve that but the standard is so high nowadays,” said Quigg.

“The temperatures were incredible. I love the heat myself but this was a different level. It was a long walking course as well. It definitely did affect performance, Áine suffered a bit of heat exhaustion on day two.

“We decided to schedule our practice to first thing in the morning or late in the evenings.”

The attention now turns to the World Amateur Team Championships in Singapore in 2025 while this Ireland team will continue their own personal journeys.

But Quigg knows they showed plenty this week to suggest they can operate at the top level of amateur golf going forward.

“What we can take away from this week is, yes we can compete with the best in the world on any given day,” said Quigg.

“We proved that in day one. Also a level or +1 day score is disappointing now for us. We know the areas we need to keep improving on, we will.

“The desire and commitment from the team and Golf Ireland to strive for this is immense. A podium finish in Singapore is definitely achievable.”


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