Anna Foster goes wire to wire in Woodbrook

Ronan MacNamara

Anna Foster with the Flogas Irish Women's trophy

Ronan MacNamara

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Elm Park star Anna Foster added the Flogas Irish Women’s Amateur Open Championship title to her 2021 Irish Women’s Close as she powered to a wire-to-wire victory in Woodbrook.

Foster carded a final round of 70 to win by four shots on twelve-under-par ahead of Castlerock’s Annabel Wilson (-8) and her Elm Park club mate Emma Fleming (-7).

Standing on the fourteenth tee level pegging with Fleming in front of a fervent travelling support, Foster pulled three clear with a crucial birdie on the par-5 as Fleming fell to a double bogey. The Irish International hammered home her advantage with birdies on 15 and 17 for a comfortable victory.

“Looking back now it was a great battle between us and delighted for Emma. She played really well all week and it was nice to have two Elm Park players on top,” beamed Foster who recovered from a bogey on the par-5 3rd with back to back birdies on the fourth and fifth.

“Fourteen was a big momentum switch there, I was just trying to stay patient. I had been hitting a lot of good shots in but couldn’t get a putt to drop so to see that one go in was relief and just coasted in on the way home which was nice.”

Foster was delighted to complete a wire to wire victory after she led each day after rounds of 68 and 72.

“It was in the back of my mind coming into today but I didn’t really want to think about it too much but yeah it was nice to get it done today.”

Woodbrook served as the perfect preparation for next week’s Women’s Amateur Championship and the Auburn college star will be one of the frontrunners from an Irish point of view in Portmarnock.

“We’ll see how next week goes but it’s always nice to play well the week before and get a bit of confidence.”

The Dubliner was greeted with a raucous cheer when she tapped in for a winning par on the 18th and she felt the support gave her an extra gear on the back nine.

“It was really nice to have a lot of support for Elm Park we really enjoy it there and love it there. The support they have shown us all through the years is really nice.”

Wilson and Fleming both carded two-under-par rounds of 72 while defending champion Lorna McClymont of Scotland carded the low round of the day to take fourth place on five-under with a 68.

Hermitage’s Kate Lanigan also grabbed a share of fourth place after a final round of 70 but a second round of 75 which included four bogeys in eight holes ended her challenge.

“I had an hour that kind of destroyed the tournament for me. Even still to salvage a top-5 I finished very well yesterday with four birdies in a row which gave me momentum going into today.

“I played the front nine very well and finished it poorly I didn’t take advantage of the par fives. Even though it’s a good round I feel like I could have got more out of it.”

Lahinch’s Aine Donegan overcame illness to share sixth place on four-under alongside club mate Aideen Walsh with both players carding 72s.

“Great to be home, the first two days let me down a little bit, today I was under the weather, I woke up with really bad body aches so considering at one stage I thought I was going to pull out,” said Donegan.

Kirkistown Castle’s Beth Coulter was on a charge early on Monday with two birdies and an eagle in her first five holes and after back to back birdies on 10 and 11 took her to within four shots of the lead, she could only par the four par fives on the back nine and she was forced to settle with a final round of 69 on three-under.

“Not a great week to be honest, first two rounds I was sloppy, slow and weak. I’m going through a swing change and it caught up to me the first two days, but it was nice to play well today I was more confident and today was about gaining momentum and confidence going into next week.

“I was six-under after 11 when I birdied it and I knew I had four par fives on the way in. I was trying to birdie them but just wasn’t chipping it close enough I didn’t get there in two on a couple and I hit great putts but they just slid by and that’s frustrating but I’m happy enough.”

Marina Joyce Moreno claimed the U18 prize.

Scoring HERE

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