Leading qualifier Jessica Ross (Clandeboye) safely secured her place in the last 16 of the Irish Women’s Close Championship at Woodbrook Golf Club but it wasn’t all one way traffic against Maynooth University Scholar Molly Dowling (Lucan).
“Molly won the 11th to go one up and then had a hole in one on 13 so I was two down with five holes left – but I’d a few birdies from there to win on 18,” said a smiling Ross.
Having to dig in Ross went on to birdie 14, 16, 17 and the 350 yard par 4 18th to win by 2 holes but admits the title of top qualifier brings some added pressure.
“It does a little yeah, but you start from scratch again so it doesn’t really matter who qualified where or what you did yesterday, you have to just keep doing what you’re doing.”
Paula Grant (Lisburn), Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden) and Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) also comfortably progressed through their first round matches and Wilson plans to celebrate with an ice-cream on Dun Laoghaire pier this evening.
“I hear it’s nice down there,” she said after her 7&6 win over Katie O’Hart of Courtown. “I’ll do some practice this afternoon and maybe get dinner in Dun Laoghaire then.”
Wilson has just completed her A Level exams but is back in her happy place on the golf course before starting her collegiate career at UCLA in September.
“It’s brilliant to be back playing, it’s the biggest break I’ve ever taken. I played the Italian Amateur in March but I said to myself – it’s only 2 or 3 months of my life, the A levels are the toughest exams you’ll do so I wanted to give 100% to that rather than be split 50-50. I’m happy with the decision, it’s worked out well.”
“The big thing for me this week was to enjoy myself and have no expectations because I don’t know how I’m playing but so far I’m happy, I’ve been playing nicely and I’ve kept the head.”
There is reason for the Woodbrook members to celebrate also as Sue Phillips reached the last 16 having beaten Lucy Simpson (Massereene) by the narrowest of margins.
In the Ita Wallace Plate flight the last 16 and quarter final matches were completed and the final four players for tomorrow’s semi-final matches are: Emma Fleming (Elm Park)
Saturday 22 June
Championship Round 2
08:30 J Ross vs. J Browne; 08:38 A Foster vs. B Coulter; 08:46 A Wilson vs. E Metcalfe; 08:54 S Burke vs. R Thompson; 09:02 P Grant vs. C Casey; 09:10 C Griffin vs. N McSherry; 09:18 L Walsh vs. S Phillips; 09:26 A Dawson vs. L Coffey
Ita Wallace Plate Semi Finals
09:42 E Fleming vs. E Fenlon; 09:50 H. Hall vs. C. Coughlan
Championship Round 1
J Ross bt M Dowling 2 Holes; J Browne bt L Mernagh 2&1; A Foster bt V Clancy 3&2; B Coulter bt S Sexton 1 Hole; A Wilson bt K O’Hart 7&6; E Metcalfe bt M Dunne 5&3; S Burke bt E Gilmore 6&4; R Thompson bt D Smith 6&4; P Grant bt R Gardner 5&3; C Casey bt M Cummins 2&1; C Griffin bt G Carr 22nd; N McSherry bt S Byrne 19th; L Walsh bt P Walsh 5&4; S Phillips bt L Simpson 1 Hole; A Dawson bt E Murray 1 Hole; L Coffey bt M O’Hara 3&1;
Ita Wallace Plate Quarter Finals
E Fleming bt J Allen 4&3; E Fenlon bt J O’Driscoll 2&1; H Hall bt U Marsden 1 Hole; C Coughlan bt L Masding 4&2;
Ita Wallace Plate Round 1
E Fleming bt C O’Grady 19th; J Allen bt R Mc Donnell 1 Hole; J O’Driscoll bt E Corcoran 4&3; E Fenlon bt K Poots 19th; U Marsden bt O Costello 4&3; H Hall bt V Austin 2&1; L Masding bt S McGuinness 6&4; C Coughlan bt L Kelly 6&5;