The 2018 ladies amateur golf season is now underway and fresh from her Bronze Medal last week at the South American Amateur in Argentina, Lisburn’s Paula Grant travels to West Cliffs, Portugal for today’s starting, 88th Portuguese International Ladies Amateur Championship.
Grant fired a closing 69 in Argentina to finish just two shots behind Paraguay’s Milagros Chaves, who claimed victory with a chip-in birdie at the last.
The Curtis Cup hopeful will be joined by Lurgan’s Annabel Wilson who enjoyed a remarkable season on the circuit last year. The teenager finished tied-third in the Irish Girls’ Open strokeplay, having jumped up several spots with a final flourish of 71. She then led the prestigious Scottish Amateur championship, ultimately pacing third once more.
And all that saw the 16-year-old selected to play on the women’s Vagliano team in Milan. Who knows what 2018 will bring for one of Ireland’s most promising stars?
The pair will be joined by Valerie Clancy (Killarney) and Jessica Ross (Clandeboye) for the 72 hole stroke play event. Grant, Ross and Wilson have been named as the Nations Cup team to represent Ireland for the Championship.
For those of you unfamiliar with this Portuguese layout, it doesn’t sound all that dissimilar to something we’d find on our own golfing island:
‘The varied landscape and natural terrain was maintained undisturbed as possible to create an unique and world class 18-hole seaside links golf course alongside the silver coast.
Rolling sand dunes interspersed with coastal vegetation, while the pine groves overlook the ocean from above. This privileged and exclusive location will mesmerise and challenge you to tame the forces of nature and perfect your game.’
Hopefully the Irish contingents can find some home comforts on foreign soil and kick-started their seasons with a strong showing. Best of luck girls.
Irish Players in the field:
Valerie Clancy (Killarney)
Paula Grant (Lisburn)
Jessica Ross (Clandeboye)
Annabel Wilson (Lurgan)