O'Sullivan leads at Lahinch

By Brian Keogh

Galway's Sinead O’Sullivan hit a brilliant level par 74 to lead the Lancôme Irish Ladies’ Close Championship after the first qualifying round at windswept Lahinch.

One of only two players to break 80, O'Sullivan had four birdies and played the back nine in two-under par to lead by four shots form Mary Dowling of New Ross.

Defending champion Tricia McDonnell found the going tough as she crashed to a nightmare 16-over par 90 in testing conditions at the Clarke links.

Course record holder Marian Riordan of Tipperary matched Tara Delaney, Sinead Keane and Niamh Kitching with 80.

Veteran Mary McKenna and Eileen Rose Power finished a shot further back on 81.

Lisa and Leona Maguire, the in-form twins from Cavan, struggled in the blustery conditions and carded 83 and 88 respectively.

The leading 32 players after Sunday's second qualifying round will go into Monday's Championship draw with the final set for Wednesday afternoon.

74 Sinead O'Sullivan (Galway)
79 Mary Dowling (New Ross)
80 Marian Riordan (Tipperary) Niamh Kitching (Claremorris) Sinead Keane (The Curragh) Tara Delaney (Carlow)
81 Eileen Rose Power (Kilkenny) Mary McKenna (Donabate)
82 Holli Snelling (Killarney)
83 Dawn Marie Conaty (Ashbourne) Gemma Hegarty (Greencastle) Lisa Maguire (Slieve Russell)
84 Anne McCormack (Roscommon) Maria Dunne (Skerries)
85 Ciara Butler (Newlands) Deirdre Smith (Co. Louth) Karen Delaney (Carlow) Mary Sheehy (Tralee) Naoimh McMahon (Shannon) Pamela Morgan (Lahinch)
86 Emma Gilmore (Mountbellew) Gertie McMullen (The Island) Jean Farrell (Youghal) Valerie Hassett (Ennis) Vivienne Houston (City of Derry)
87 Jennifer Gannon (Co. Louth) Orla Barry (Galway)
88 Helen Jones (Strabane) Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell) Margaret Hayes (Tralee) Susanne Phillips (Woodbrook)
89 Ann Marie Dalton (Coollattin) Catherine Tucker (Limerick) Hannah McInerney (Gort) Nora O'Connor (Mallow) Sandra Atkinson (Woodbrook) Sarah Crowe (Tipperary)
90 Karen O'Neill (Douglas) Maura Morrin (The Curragh) Tricia McDonnell (Ennis)
91 Ailish McCartan (Greenore) Vicki Power (Brampton Park)
92 Anna O'Brien (Athlone) Darragh McGowan (Ballybofey & Stranorlar) Fiona Carroll (Athenry) Hannah O'Brien (Lahinch) Judith McGann (Gort) Mary-T Real (Ballykisteen) Sheena O'Brien-Kenney (Grange)
93 Hannah O'Connor (Loughrea) Kate Gallagher (Claremorris)
94 Claire McGonagle (Whitekirk) Lynda Maher (Charleville)
95 Mary Geaney (Killarney) Yvonne Daly-Ryan (Tipperary)
96 Ann Geoghegan (Athlone) Sarah Carty (The Island)
97 Karen Twomey (Spanish Point) Kay Bermingham (Youghal) Louise Mernagh (Woodenbridge) Val Shannon (Douglas)
98 Carmel Kearney (Mallow) Shauna O'Brien (Clonmel) Zarah O'Reilly (Castle)
99 Theresa Delahunty (Rathowney)
100 Fiona Healy (Headfort)
103 Cathryn Mannion (Athlone) Charlotte Crowe (Tipperary) Majella Hallinan (Ballykisteen) Marie Carr (Athenry)
104 Maria Cahill (Abbeyleix)
105 Ruth Maguire (Corrstown)
107 Mai McCann (Narin & Portnoo)
114 Julie Barkman (Nenagh)