Lisburn’s Paula Grant staged a dramatic late comeback to beat Lisa Maguire on the 19th and snatch the Irish Women’s Amateur Close Championship in a gale at Ballybunion.
Grant beat Holywood’s Jessica Carty by 3 and 1 in the semi-finals as Maguire romped to an impressive 5 and 4 win over Royal County Down Ladies’ Olivia Mehaffey, who had shocked world No 7 Stephanie Meadow in the first round.
In the final, 19-year old Grant defied gale force winds which had gusted up to 40mph for most of the day to take a two up lead after five holes.
Maguire won the sixth and then birdied the ninth to square the match before taking the 10th in par and hte 12th with a conceded birdie to go two up.
Grant was conceded a birdie at the 13th to cut the deficit to one hole and then squared the match at the 15th where Maguire was in trouble off the tee.
After a half in par at the 16th, Maguire took the 17th to go one up when grant failed to get up and down from greenside sand.
But Grant won the 18th with a par to force extra holes and then snatched the title at the 19th.
Maguire was bunkered in two and failed to get up and down as Grant punched a fairway wood up to within 50 yards of the green and then holed a 22 footer for a winning par.
Irish Women’s Amateur Close Championship, Ballybunion GC
Paula Grant (Lisburn) bt Lisa Maguire (Slieve Russell) 19th
Lisa Maguire (Slieve Russell) beat Olivia Mehaffey (Royal Co. Down Ladies) 5&4
Paula Grant (Lisburn) beat Jessica Carty (Holywood) 3&1