Mighty McMullen focused on Senior Close defence
 Gertie McMullen defends her Irish Senior Women’s Close Championship title at  Birr this week.

Gertie McMullen defends her Irish Senior Women’s Close Championship title at  Birr this week.

The Island’s Gertie McMullen is set to defend her Irish Senior Women’s Close Championship title at  Birr.

The action gets underway on Tuesday with the 63-strong field playing an 18-hole strokeplay qualifier with the leading 16 players qualifying for the matchplay over the following two days with players in positions 17-32 will qualify for the Plate matchplay.

Holder McMullen leads the 2016 ILGU Order of Merit table but is closely followed by East Berkshire’s Laura Webb and Grange’s Sheena McElroy.

A three-time former winner, senior international McElroy looks the most likely to pose a threat at Birr, after finishing tied fifth at the Spanish Senior Women’s Amateur Championship earlier this year. 

Other players to watch out for will be 2015 finalist Mary MacLaren  from Royal Portrush, current senior internationals Mary Dowling (Mallow), Suzanne Corcoran (Portumna), Webb ( and Pat Doran (Donabate). 

The 2015 Senior Open Stroke Play Champion Marilyn Henderson (Royal Belfast), past senior internationals Carol Wickham (Laytown & Bettystown) and Helen Jones (Royal Portrush) will also prove stiff competition. 

Irish Senior Women’s Close Championship, Birr Golf Club

Live scoring

Draw for Qualifying Round 1 - Tuesday 28th June

  1. 09:30 Laura Webb (East Berkshire), Gertie McMullen (The Island), Carol Wickham (Laytown & Bettystown)
  2. 09:40 Mary Dowling (Mallow), Suzanne Corcoran (Portumna), Mary Duane (Hermitage)
  3. 09:50 Mary MacLaren (Royal Portrush), Helen Jones (Royal Portrush), Sheena McElroy (Grange)
  4. 10:00 Pat Doran (Donabate), Marilyn Henderson (Royal Belfast), Kate Evans (Royal Co. Down Ladies)
  5. 10:10 Niamh Giblin (Dun Laoghaire), Anne Ferguson (RCDL), Maria O'Reilly (Headfort)
  6. 10:20 Vivienne Houston (City of Derry), Catherine Reilly (The Heath), Pauline Walsh (Headfort)
  7. 10:30 Valerie Hassett (Ennis), Margaret McAuliffe (Ballybunion), Mary Madden (Ballinasloe)
  8. 10:40 Clodagh Hopkins (Woodbrook), Nicky Smyth (Royal Portrush), Valerie Shannon (Lahinch)
  9. 10:50 Ruth Maguire (Corrstown), Breda Ryan (Callan), Catherine Bird (Nenagh)
  10. 11:00 Margaret Hayes (Tralee), Rita O'Neill (Callan), Ann Monteith (Slieve Russell)
  11. 11:10 Gemma Butler (Birr), Mary Kinsella (Tullamore), Pamela Morgan (Lahinch)
  12. 11:20 Toni McDonagh (Fortwilliam), Anne Wemyss (Callan), Fiona Corbett (Castletroy)
  13. 11:30 Rita McGoldrick (Enniscrone), Majorie Ahern (Lahinch), Mary O'Donoghue (Ballybunion) 
  14. 11:40 Siobhan McGrath (Athlone), Vera Smyth (Birr), Catherine Carty (Tullamore) 
  15. 11:50 Joan Scanlon (Newcastle West), Honoria Fogarty (Castlecomer), Julie Barkman (Nenagh) 
  16. 12:00 Mary Sadlier (Lahinch), Elizabeth Neville (Bearna), Angela Cullinan (Lahinch) 
  17. 12:10 Stephanie McNiff (Tullamore), Yvonne Mac Sweeney (Wexford), Kathleen Burke (Connemara)
  18. 12:20 Fiona Glass (Ballycastle), Christine Carroll (Killarney), Kathleen Moylan (Tullamore) 
  19. 12:30 Paula Murray (Naas), Mary Sheehy (Tralee), Mary Geaney (Killarney) 
  20. 12:40 Stephanie Mac Grath (Lahinch), Hazel Henderson (Royal Portrush), Helen O'Donoghue (Clonmel) 
  21. 12:50 Mary Mather (Cill Dara), Anne Marie Carroll (Ballybunion), Emer Kirwan (Killiney)