Grant to defend Close title at Enniscrone

The 16th at Enniscrone. Picture: Pat Cashman

Lisburn's Paula Grant will begin her defence of the Irish Women's Close Championship at Enniscrone tomorrow.

But she will face some stiff competition from the likes of Royal County Down Ladies' Olivia Mehaffey, who will be looking to follow up on her Irish Girls Open Strokeplay win earlier this season and he run to the semi-finals at Ballybunion 12 months ago.

Skerries' Maria Dunne, who won the ILGU Titleist Scratch Cup circuit, will also be a force alongside Castletroy's Chloe Ryan and Ballybunion's Emma O’Driscoll, who are second and third behind Grant in the Order of Merit standings.

The 16th at Enniscrone. Picture: Pat Cashman

Past champions Mary Dowling (2010), Karen Delaney (2007) and Deirdre Smith (2004) will be keen to challenge for the title again while many of the leading players will want to impress Irish selectors ahead of next month's European Ladies and European Girls Team Championships in Slovenia and Slovakia respectively.

The Championship starts Saturday 14th June with the 36 hole Leitrim Cup qualifying stroke play after which the leading 32 players will go into five rounds of championship match play. The semi-finals and final take place on Tuesday 17th June.

The Irish Women's Close Amateur Championship was first played in 1894, just one year after the foundation of the ILGU, the oldest national Union or Association in ladies' golf.

The Championship was last played in Enniscrone in 1997 and the course is considered among the finest and most challenging of the traditional Irish links.

Irish Women's Close Championship, Enniscrone Golf Club

Tee-times, Saturday 14th June 

  • 07:00 12:30 Paula Grant (Lisburn) Chloe Ryan (Castletroy) Emma O'Driscoll (Ballybunion)
  • 07:10 12:40 Sinead Sexton (Lahinch) Maria Dunne (Skerries) Mary Dowling (New Ross)
  • 07:20 12:50 Olivia Mehaffey (RCDL) Deirdre Smith (Co. Louth) Lucy Simpson (Massereene)
  • 07:30 13:00 Amy Farrell (Moate) Mary Doyle (The Heath) Gillian O'Leary (The Island)
  • 07:40 13:10 Jessica Carty (Holywood) Louise Coffey (Malone) Sarah Cunningham (Ennis)
  • 07:50 13:20 Aedin Murphy (Carlow) Karen O'Neill (Douglas) Jessica Ross (Donaghadee)
  • 08:00 13:30 Jean O'Driscoll (Muskerry) Carla Reynolds (Seapoint) Karen Delaney (Carlow)
  • 08:10 13:40 Carol Wickham (Laytown & Bettystown) Niamh Ward (Lurgan) Ciara Casey (Hermitage)
  • 08:20 13:50 Niamh McSherry (Lurgan) Gertie McMullen (The Island) Sophie Harrison (Killeen Castle)
  • 08:30 14:00 Sharron Burke (Ballinrobe) Louise Mernagh (Woodenbridge) Darcey Carr (Milltown)
  • 08:40 14:10 Meadhbh Doyle (Portarlington) Sarah Helly (Enniscrone) Anna Courtney (St. Anne's)
  • 09:00 14:30 Shannen Brown (The Heath) Gemma McCarthy (Clonmel) Rachel Taylor (Laytown & Bettystown)
  • 09:10 14:40 Roisin Brady (Co. Louth) Caitriona Griffin (Killarney) Lisa O'Shea (Shannon)
  • 09:20 14:50 Barbara Cooney (Laytown & Bettystown) Katie Aherne (Waterford Castle) Holly Robinson (Co. Sligo)
  • 09:30 15:00 Valerie Clancy (Killarney) Cliodhna McCarthy (Stackstown) Victoria Craig (Royal Belfast)
  • 09:40 15:10 Mairead Martin (Killarney) Jenny Maguire (Foxrock) Ellie Metcalfe (Laytown & Bettystown)
  • 09:50 15:20 Orla Barry (Galway) Vivienne Houston (City of Derry) Ruth Maguire (Corrstown)
  • 10:00 15:30 Christine Armanasco (Aus/Belturbet) Maeve Rooney (Co. Sligo) Nicole McGavisk (Donabate)
  • 10:10 15:40 Clodagh Walsh (Castlewarden) Rachel Thompson (Cork) Siobhan Forde (Gort)
  • 10:20 15:50 Rita McGoldrick (Enniscrone) Aisling Parker (Greenore) Siobhan O'Connor (Gort)
  • 10:30 16:00 Caoimhe Russell (Co. Louth) Deborah McCooke (Galgorm Castle) Deirdre Malone (Beech Park)
  • 10:40 16:10 Caroline Hewitt (Courtown) Miriam Jordan (Cregmore Park)