Mix up means Leona not Annabel wins GB and I Order of Merit

Mix up means Leona not Annabel wins GB and I Order of Merit
 Annabel Wilson (left) and Leona Maguire

Annabel Wilson (left) and Leona Maguire

A mathematical mix-up means world No 1 Leona Maguire and not Lurgan's Annabel Wilson has been declared the winner of the 2017 Great Britain and Ireland Women’s Order of Merit.

Annabel was understandably thrilled to see her name atop the updated rankings following the final counting event in September, the Ladies' British Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship, where she finished tied for second. (See original ranking posted on September 13).

The winner of the GB&I Order of Merit earns an automatic exemption into the 2018 Ricoh Women's British Open and while Annabel was quoted at the time as saying the chance to play with the best players in the world was "just unbelievable", she was informed last week that there had been "a mix up" and she had actually finished seventh.

Not too bothered. Plenty of opportunities
— Annabel Wilson on being told she didn't win the Order of Merit and her first major start

Leona, who may be a professional when the Ricoh Women's British Open is played next year and therefore ineligible to take up the exemption, finished ahead of England's Sophie Lamb at the top of the rankings, which have only just been updated.

The R&A, which uses information extracted from WAGR to calculate the Order of Merit, apologised for the error and the delay before the correct ranking was posted.

A spokesperson explained that "there was an error with some counting events not being included when they should have. This meant there was a slight delay in the correct standings being displayed."

"(I'm) not too bothered," Annabel said today. "(I'll have) plenty of opportunities."

It's been a stunning year for Wilson, who claimed the Cartier Trophy for winning the French Under 18 title and was third in the Irish Girls' Open Stroke Play, the Helen Holm and qualifying for the European Girls' Team Championship. She also helped Ireland win the Home Internationals and played in the Vagliano Trophy.

Her next outing comes next month when she tees it up in the Telegraph Vitality Junior Golf Championship at Quinto do Lago from November 9-11.

As for Leona, she goes in Stage II of the LPGA Tour Qualifying Tournament in Florida on Thursday but will not contest the Final Stage.

Were she to win her card by finishing in the top 20 at Stage III, she would be required by the LPGA Tour to turn professional immediately.

As she plans to graduate from Duke in May before turning professional, she is required simply to play all four rounds at Stage II to maintain the Symetra Tour status she earned by finishing sixth at the same stage last year.

When she eventually turns professional, she can rely on her Symetra Tour status and invitations for starts on the LPGA Tour.