Women’s Amateur: Lanigan – “If I put a bet on I would back some of the Irish”

Ronan MacNamara

Kate Lanigan (Photo by Tom Dulat/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Kate Lanigan is expecting some strong performances in Portmarnock from the Irish contingent at the 121st Women’s Amateur Championship gets underway on Monday.

Four players in the top ten of the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®) and 21 in the top-50 are set to tee it up at the historic course north of Dublin.

Sara Byrne from Douglas GC in Cork, currently has the joint-lowest Handicap Index of any player in the field for the Women’s Amateur, with an impressive +8.2 Index. That number matches Scotland’s Hannah Darling, a former R&A Girls’ Amateur Champion, and a student at the University of South Carolina.

Aine Donegan of Lahinch in County Clare will be one of the favourites chasing success at the renowned venue north of Dublin. The 22-year-old Louisiana State University student is currently 75th on the WAGR®.

Lanigan herself has been in the winners circle this season, winning a Student Series event in Italy, winning the Student Series Order of Merit and she can look forward to an Arnold Palmer Cup appearance next month in Lahinch.

The Hermitage golfer holds student membership in Portmarnock so she is expecting a fervent support.

“I’m beginning to get to grips with the golf course. It’s one of the toughest golf courses I’ve ever played but one of my favourites. The field is amazing and the club is working very hard so I’m really looking forward to it,” said the Dubliner.

“The R&A have been visiting and looking after the course and there’s a huge membership group looking to volunteer and it shows how far the club has come.”

Lanigan believes the potentially ‘very Irish’ conditions can play into the hands of the home hopefuls and she wouldn’t be surprised to see a handful of Irish girls progressing deep into the championship.

“If I was putting a bet on I would definitely put it on some of the Irish players because everyone knows links and we’ve had a lot of training days there and you get to know how tough the course is so that’s definitely an advantage.

“It’s a tale of two halves, you just need to qualify, the scores can be quite high, they might not be but then you’re into matchplay and it’s a great matchplay course so I wouldn’t be surprised to see an Irish winner.”

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