McCarthy leads Irish Girls Close qualifiers after birdie blitz
 Julie McCarthy

Julie McCarthy

Sun and blue skies graced Galway Bay for the opening 36 hole qualifying day of the Irish Girls Close Championship.

Ideal conditions and a pristine course presented the players with ample opportunities for low scores.

The high quality field took advantage of this, snapping up birdie opportunities to finish with sub-par rounds. 

Julie McCarthy (Forrest Little) made a very impressive start to the Championship. A near flawless first round of 70 in the morning saw the international shoot a steady front nine of -1 before burning up the back nine, which included two birdies, one eagle and one dropped shot on the 17th. Julie added a level par 74 to this in the afternoon to emerge as leading qualifier. 

The cream certainly rose to the top as fellow Internationals Mairead Martin (Killarney), Annabel Wilson (Lurgan), Valerie Clancy (Killarney) and Niamh McSherry (Lurgan) all carded level par rounds or better to qualify as the top five. Mairead proved her international and junior vagliano status as she carded the best round of the day with a superb 69, including six birdies and one bogey. 

32 players have qualified for the championship matchplay tomorrow. The first round losers in the championship will contest the plate while the non-qualifiers will play stableford competitions tomorrow and Friday.   

CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHPLAY DRAW

  1. 09:00 Julie McCarthy (Forest Little) V Aoife Ní Thuama (Douglas)     
  2. 09:09 Sarah Molloy (Kilkenny) V Rachel Thompson (Cork)     
  3. 09:18 Eleanor Metcalfe (Laytown & Bettystown) V Ciara Leonard (Mitchelstown)     
  4. 09:27 Victoria Craig (Royal Belfast) V Clodagh Coughlan (Douglas)     
  5. 09:36 Valerie Clancy (Killarney) V Laura Ryan (Dun Laoghaire)     
  6. 09:45 Gemma McCarthy (Clonmel) V Ciara Casey (Hermitage)     
  7. 09:54 Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) V Aine Donegan (Woodstock)     
  8. 10:03 Sarah Burke (Mullingar) V Grace McGrath (East Cork)     
  9. 10:12 Mairead Martin (Killarney) V Anna Foster (Elm Park)     
  10. 10:21 Elisa Corcoran (Grange) V Maeve Rooney (Co. Sligo)     
  11. 10:30 Clodagh Walsh (Castlewarden) V Alice Hutchinson (St. Anne's)     
  12. 10:39 Catriona Griffin (Killarney) V Ellen O'Gorman (Milltown)     
  13. 10:48 Niamh McSherry (Lurgan) V Aideen Walsh (Woodstock)     
  14. 10:57 Molly Dowling (Lucan) V Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden)     
  15. 11:06 Katie Aherne (Waterford Castle) V Clare Calvert (RCDL)     
  16. 11:15 Lisa O'Shea (Shannon) V Maeve Cummins (Lurgan)

FINAL RESULTS (Par 74, SSS 76, CSS Rd 1 75, CSS Rd 2 75) 

144 Julie McCarthy (Forrest Little Golf Club) 70 74

149 Mairead Martin (Killarney Golf Club) 80 69, Niamh McSherry (Lurgan Golf Club) 74 75

152 Valerie Clancy (Killarney Golf Club) 74 78, Annabel Wilson (Lurgan Golf Club) 73 79

154 Katie Aherne (Waterford Castle Golf Club) 77 77, Clodagh Walsh (Castlewarden Golf Club) 76 78

155 Eleanor Metcalfe (Laytown & Bettystown) 78 77

156 Victoria Craig (Royal Belfast Golf Club) 80 76, Catriona Griffin (Killarney Golf Club) 79 77

157 Lisa O'Shea (Shannon Golf Club) 79 78

159 Sarah Burke (Mullingar Golf Club) 78 81

160 Gemma McCarthy (Clonmel Golf Club) 80 80, Molly Dowling (Lucan) 78 82, Elisa Corcoran (Grange Golf Club) 77 83, Sarah Molloy (Kilkenny Golf Club) 76 84

161 Rachel Thompson (Cork Golf Club) 84 77, Maeve Rooney (Co. Sligo Golf Club) 81 80

162 Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden Golf Club) 84 78

164 Ciara Casey (Hermitage Golf Club) 85 79, Grace McGrath (East Cork Golf Club) 80 84

165 Maeve Cummins (Lurgan Golf Club) 83 82, Ellen O'Gorman (Milltown Golf Club) 83 82

166 Clodagh Coughlan (Douglas) 83 83

167 Ciara Leonard (Mitchelstown Golf Club) 85 82, Alice Hutchinson (St. Anne's) 79 88

168 Clare Calvert (Royal Co. Down Ladies) 85 83, Aine Donegan (Woodstock Golf Club) 85 83, Laura Ryan (Dun Laoghaire Golf Club) 83 85

169 Aideen Walsh (Woodstock Golf Club) 83 86

170 Anna Foster (Elm Park Golf Club) 86 84, Aoife NiThuama (Douglas) 82 88

NON QUALIFIERS

172 Lorna Mullally (Tuam Golf Club) 86 86, Sarah Lacey (Castleknock) 84 88

173 Georgia Carr (Milltown Golf Club) 85 88

174 Katie Keenan (Kilkenny Golf Club) 88 86

175 Fiona Behan (Killeen Golf Club) 86 89, Eibhlin McCarthy (Killorglin Golf Club) 80 95

178 Nicole McGavisk (Donabate Golf Club) 91 87, Clodagh Jones (Roscrea Golf Club) 88 90

179 Ellen Nolan (Grange) 95 84, Emma Guinane (Limerick) 90 89

180 Sara Byrne (Douglas Golf Club) 94 86, Kate McElroy (Faithlegg Golf Club) 94 86, Chloe O'Connor (Roscommon Golf Club) 92 88, Ciara Magill (East Clare Golf Club) 88 92

183 Cliodhna Drury (Dun Laoghaire Golf Club) 91 92, Katie Rafferty (Tipperary Golf Club) 88 95

185 Siobhan Behan (Killeen Golf Club) 94 91, Niamh Cronin (Co. Sligo Golf Club) 90 95, Sophie Dodd (Enniscrone Golf Club) 87 98

187 Anna Dawson (Tramore Golf Club) 88 99

190 Kaelin O'Keeffe (Ballykisteen Golf Club) 97 93, Niamh Mulrooney (Kilkenny Golf Club) 93 97

191 Jan Browne (Kilkenny Golf Club) 94 97

192 Jill Jennings (Carlow Golf Club) 100 92, Niamh Carmody (Tralee Golf Club) 98 94

194 Annie Harpur (Naas Golf Club) 95 99

195 Seána McGuinness (Greenore Golf Club) 102 93

201 Leah Temple Lang (Seapoint Golf Club) 102 99

204 Stephanie Glennon (Grange) 109 95

205 Shannon Hegarty (Ennis Golf Club) 102 103

215 Ailbhe Bourke (Enniscrone Golf Club) 116 99, Caoimhe Slemon (Bearna Golf Club) 107 108