A round-up of today's other stories in brief
Maguire leads strong Irish bid
IRISH CLOSE champion, Leona Maguire and runner-up Stephanie Meadow will lead a nine-strong Irish attack on the British Women’s Amateur Championship at Carnoustie this week as they bid to emulate the feat of Alan Dunbar at Troon last week.
The venue for many British Open Championships (Pádraig Harrington in 2007) and the 2011 Ricoh Women’s British Open, the tournament at Carnoustie has attracted an unprecedentedly strong international field, with the handicap cut-off point being a Championship record of plus 0.5.
Following two stroke play rounds today and tomorrow, the top 64 scores qualify for the match play stages, which start on the Thursday morning.
The world class field at this year’s championship will see all eight members of the Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup take their places in the starting line-up, while last year’s winner, 16-year-old Lauren Taylor from Rugby – the youngest champion in 118 years – will defend the title she won with a devastating short game at Royal Portrush Golf Club, last June. Other Irish in the field include: Jessia Carty, Karen Delaney, Paula Grant, Lisa Maguire, Chloe Ryan, Jean O’Driscoll, and Deirdre Smith.
Palmer Cup at Royal County Down
THERE might only be one golfing show in town this week with all attention focused on Royal Portrush, but further down the coast Royal County Down (RCD) will play host to the prestigious Palmer Cup.
This week’s sell-out Irish Open at Royal Portrush is the big draw with McIlroy, Harrington and McDowell on view.
However, many of the stars of the future will be at RCD for the annual team match between the top college players in the United States and Europe.
Both eight-man teams read like a who’s who of the elite amateur game.
The visiting American team boasts no less than three Walker Cup players from last year’s contest at Royal Aberdeen. Respective world number two and three, Chris Williams and Patrick Rodgers, plus Blayne Barber form the backbone of Josh Gregorys team.
Although there are no Irish players on the European side, it still shows plenty of strength with Lytham and St Andrews Trophy winner Daan Huizing leading the team.
Raymond defends his Brabazon title
NO player has won two successive Brabazon Trophies for over 20 years. But England international Neil Raymond will attempt to change that when he defends the title over the Old Course at Walton Heath next weekend.
Raymond won the title at Burnham and Berrow a year ago, a victory that followed his full England debut in the international with Spain.
The last player to win back-to-back Brabazons was Gary Evans who shared top spot with Frenchman Olivier Edmond at Burnham Berrow in 1990 and with Mark Pullan a year later at Hunstanton. However, should there be a tie this year there will be a sudden death play-off.
Ireland will have 10 players in the field of 153. The six players selected by the GUI – Paul Dunne (Greystones), Niall Gorey (Muskerry), Nicky Grant (Knock), Richard ODonovan (Lucan), Kevin Phelan (Waterford Castle) and Reeve Whitson (Mourne) will be joined by individual entries from Michael Durcan (Co Sligo), Gary Hurley from West Waterford, Kelan McDonagh from Athlone and Richard Bridges from Stackstown.