In this, the 125th year of the Irish Ladies Golf Union, a field of 68 including a host of Irish Internationals and District Champions will take to the course at Enniscrone in the hope of being crowned Irish Women’s Close Champion.
Photo Fran Caffrey – Golffile of Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden)
The first Irish Close was won by Miss Mulligan from Royal Belfast in 1894 and 113 names have been added to the coveted trophy in the years since.
Last year’s runner-up, Ciara Casey (Hermitage) is scheduled to open her 2018 bid at 07:10 together with 2004 Irish Close Champion Deirdre Smith (Co. Louth) and Shannon Burke (Ballinrobe).
The Irish Women’s Close Championship was last played over the Co. Mayo course course in 2014, when Mary Doyle (The Heath) beat Jessica Carty (Holywood) on the 17th green. The Maynooth University Scholar returns again this year and is paired with Alison Taylor (Malahide) and Anna Foster (Elm Park).
Established in 1918, Enniscrone this year celebrates its 100th birthday and boasts a rich history of producing International players and hosting of National events. Most recently, Sarah Helly won the Irish Women’s Close at Ballyliffin in 2015 and went on to represent Ireland at the Home Internationals that year. Michelle Holmes, a prominent PGA Professional in the United States, and her sister Laura both represented Ireland at U18 level while Marina Gilhawley was the first Enniscrone girl to bear the Irish green in 1998.
At interclub level, the club has had intermittent success in the likes of the AIG Senior Foursomes and AIG Intermediate Cup, but with a thriving junior section at Enniscrone, it was no surprise that the club has won the District Girls’ Interclub and the Irish Open Skills Challenge in recent years.
Competitors will play 36 holes stroke play on Saturday the 19th of June with 32 players qualifying for the Championship Matchplay and the next 16 qualifiers qualifying to compete for the Ita Wallace Plate.
All information for the Irish Women’s Close Championship, including the online draw can be found HERE.