Wilson: “Playing a Women’s Amateur in Portmarnock is special”

Ronan MacNamara
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Annabel Wilson (Photo by Patrick Bolger/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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You never want to finish a round with a double bogey, but Castlerock’s Annabel Wilson fist pumped as if she had already won the Women’s Amateur Championship when her putt from left of the 18th green rattled the flagstick and dropped.

Wilson was one-under-par for her round through thirteen holes and she could have been forgiven for being downbeat after finishing with four successive bogeys and a double.

However, such was the drama on the 18th where she had to take a penalty drop from the knee high fescue, she holed a lengthy putt from off the green where she had to curtail her putting stroke to avoid clipping the overhanging gorse behind her.

If there are such things as a good double bogey, this was certainly it.

“I’ll take that six any day of the week. Seventeen and eighteen were playing tough and I came out of my approach shot on 18 just ended up in a tricky spot and walked away with a six I was delighted,” laughed Wilson.

“Golf is kind of that way, you have to just be patient and sometimes you get breaks and certainly the long putt I had on the last was a break.”

Five-over was certainly not what she was looking for entering the back nine in Portmarnock but given the difficult conditions on day one of the 36-hole strokeplay qualifying, the former Curtis Cup star is in a share of 45th place and comfortably inside the all important top-64 heading into Tuesday.

“I always have to remember I played lovely golf, I was one under at a stage and just made poor decisions on the way in but I need to remember that my golf is all there and I can’t get too caught up with the last few holes, it’s tough and it will be for everybody.”

Wilson hadn’t played an event outside of the US collegiate system since 2021 but she has quickly found her feat and showed the golf that propelled her to 90th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and onto the Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup side.

Now a winner of the Ulster Strokeplay, Wilson will be hoping to secure her spot in the matchplay stages and make some memories on home soil.

“It’s a very special, it’s a lovely course as it is but to have the amateur here is very special so just trying to make as many memories and soak it all in.”

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