Skerries' Maria Dunne showed some impressive form ahead of the forthcoming Welsh and Irish Strokeplay tests when she overcame challenging conditions to win the Woodbrook Scratch Cup by four shots on Sunday.
The Curtis Cup star opened with a terrific, two-over par 76 in wet and windy morning conditions, then added a one-under-par 73 after lunch to finish four ahead of Deirdre Smith on one-over 149 in the Pinergy-sponsored event.
"I'm delighted with the win," Maria said as he prepares to compete in this week's Welsh Ladies Open Amateur Strokeplay at Ashburnham before returning to Baltray for the Irish Women's Strokeplay at County Louth.
"It's nice to be coming into form with the Welsh and Irish Strokeplay coming up in the next two weeks."
Despite all her achievements last season, culminating in a winning Curtis Cup debut in Dun Laoghaire, Dunne says it has not be difficult to motivate herself for 2017.
"It's a new year and new goals have been set," she said.
Following wins for Royal County Down Ladies' Olivia Mehaffey in 2015 and 2016, Maria will be hoping to notch a third successive Irish win in the Welsh Ladies Open Amateur Stroke Play, which runs from May 5-7.
She'll be taking on her Curtis Cup teammate Rochelle Morris of England as he heads for Wales with Paula Grant (Lisburn), who finished tied for 21st at the recent Helen Holm Scottish Stroke Play.
Jessica Ross (Clandeboye), Louise Coffey (Malone), Sinead Sexton (Lahinch) and Mary Doyle (The Heath) will spearhead the Irish challenge with Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden), Emma Forbes (Royal Portrush), Ellen O’Gorman (Milltown), Rachel Thompson (Cork) and Georgia Carr (Milltown) looking to make an impression before heading into the busy U18 summer season.
Woodbrook Ladies Senior Scratch Cup (Sponsored by Pinergy) Par 74
Field — 43; CSS Rd. 1 — 78; CSS Rd. 2 — 76
- Maria Dunne (+3) 149 (76-73)
- Deirdre Smith (+1) 153
- Shannon Burke (0) 154 (countback)
- Rachel McDonnel (3) 154
- Ciara Casey (+1) 157 (countback)
- Louise Coffey (+1) 157
- Senior 36-hole gross — Maria O'Reilly (5) 165
- Under 18 36-hole gross — Kate Dwyer (5) 167
- Best gross 1st 18 — Aine Donegan (4) 78 (countback)
- Best gross 2nd 18 — Paula Grant (+3) 77 (countback)
- Best nett 36 holes — Alison Taylor (2) 155 (countback)
Welsh Ladies Open Amateur Stroke Play
- Tee times
- 08:33 Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden)
- 08:55 Paula Grant (Lisburn)
- 09:06 Emma Forbes (Royal Portrush)
- 09:37 Ellen O’Gorman (Milltown)
- 10:21 Rachel Thompson (Cork)
- 11:58 Georgia Carr (Milltown)
- 12:09 Jessica Ross (Clandeboye)
- 12:20 Louise Coffey (Malone)
- 12:51 Maria Dunne (Skerries)
- 13:02 Sinead Sexton (Lahinch)
- 13:13 Mary Doyle (The Heath).