The third staging of the Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play at Co. Louth Golf Club is upon us as a host of elite International players, including three of the 2018 Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup Team, prepare for a test on the Baltray links.
Co. Louth has produced generations of elite golfers, both male and female. However, none have seen more success than Clarrie Reddan and Philomena Garvey. Celebrated as two of Irish golf’s most successful players, the Baltray natives are now at the forefront of the Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play Championship.
Clarrie Reddan (nee Tiernan) was born in 1916 and boasted a career that included nine International appearances between 1935 and 1955, an Irish Ladies Close title, two Curtis Cup appearances and a runner-up finish at the British Ladies Amateur Championship in 1949.
Philomena Garvey, 10 years Clarrie’s junior, initially found interest in the game through her brothers and while caddying for Clarrie. In her own right, Philomena went on to complete a superb career in golf – claiming fifteen Irish Close Championships and representing GB&I on thirteen occasions at the Curtis Cup and Vagliano Trophies.
These two legends of Irish Golf have inspired many subsequent generations at County Louth Golf Club, which became home of the Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play Championship – the Clarrie Reddan and Philomena Garvey Trophy in 2017.
Seventy-one elite golfers will tee it up on Friday this week in a bid to become the 2019 Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play Champion but they won’t be joined by Hannah McCook (Scotland), who clinched the title by two shots from Romy Meekers (Netherlands) in 2018, as she has announced her decision to turn professional and is now competing on the LET Access Tour.
As preparations continue for the Vagliano Trophy matches in June at Royal St. George’s, selectors will be keeping a close eye on proceedings at Co. Louth. Lily May Humphrey’s (England), Paula Grant (Lisburn), Shannon McWilliam (Scotland), Romy Meekers (Netherlands) and Chloe Goadby (Scotland) complete the top five ranked players in the field according to the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).
From an Irish point of view, while High Performance players Lauren Walsh, Annabel Wilson and Olivia Mehaffey are unavailable due to exam commitments, the remainder of the Horizon Performance, Funded Performance and U16 Development Panels will be hoping for a repeat of Maria Dunne’s success in 2017 with another home win.
The event will be played over 18 holes each day, entry is free and spectators are more than welcome to attend.