In the midst of The Women’s Amateur, The Amateur and, of course, The Open being hosted on Irish shores this summer, the 115th Irish Women’s Close Championship returns to the east coast where it will be hosted by Woodbrook Golf Club.
Woodbrook is no stranger to hosting big events in their 98-year history and their annual Scratch Cup has boasted winning names such as Louise Coffey and Maria Dunne in recent years.
Castlewarden’s Lauren Walsh and Lurgan’s Annabel Wilson will make their return to the competitive scene following completion of their Leaving Cert and A Level exams. For Walsh it seems her time spent in the books had little effect on her golf earlier in the season. The 18-year-old finished in 7th position at the Italian Amateur in March and with scores of 74 and 71 – a three under par total, she secured the Woodbrook Scratch Cup in April – perhaps an omen of things to come at the same course this time around.
Six of the 2018 Irish Women’s Home International team, including Ballinrobe’s Shannon Burke and Lisburn’s Paula Grant, are unlikely to be far away come the business end of the competition while youngsters such as Beth Coulter (Kirkistown Castle) may take inspiration from Sara Byrne (Douglas) who was crowned Irish Champion at the age of seventeen last year.
The first Irish Close Championship was won by Miss Mulligan from Royal Belfast in 1894 and 114 names have been added to the coveted trophy in the years since. The 2019 staging will run from June 20 – 23, all spectators are welcome and admission is free.