Shay’s Short Game: Mullarney and Ryan are top scholars

Reigning North of Ireland champion Rowan Lester wins Dallas Baptist Patriot Invitational

Winners of the R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament in St Andrews, Chloe Ryan and John Mullarney.

Winners of the R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament in St Andrews, Chloe Ryan and John Mullarney.

 

Lester’s third win of the season

Rowan Lester from Hermitage claimed his third win of the season and his fourth for Texas Wesleyan in last week’s Dallas Baptist Patriot Invitational.

Winner of the NAIA National Championship in his freshman year, Lester won the Kohler Collegiate at Whistling Straits and the Southern Plains Intercollegiate at Gaillardia Country Club before coming home five shots ahead at Hackberry Creek in Irving.

The reigning North of Ireland champion followed rounds of 71 and 74 with a 68 to win by five shots on three-under-par 213 from St Mary’s University’s Emilio Gonzalez, who had a two-stroke lead entering the final round. Texas Wesleyan also claimed its sixth team win of the season.

The Rams will return to action at the Sooner Athletic Conference Championships at Lincoln Park in Oklahoma City from April 23rd-24th.

Mullarney and Ryan are top scholars

Ireland’s Ronan Mullarney and Chloe Ryan defied challenging weather conditions to win The R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament in St Andrews. This is the second time Ryan has won the event after she triumphed two years previous in 2016.

In a first for the women’s event, the tournament offers both winners a place on the International Team for the Arnold Palmer Cup match played against the USA. This year’s match is being played at the Evian Resort in France in early July.

Mullarney, who studies at Maynooth University, shots opening rounds of 67 and 71 added a final round of 70 to finish on five-under-par 208. Four strokes behind, George Burns, from the University of St Andrews, and the University of Stirling’s Robert Foley and Jack Cope all finished on level par.

Ryan, studying at the Instituto superior de derecho y economica (ISDE) in Madrid, recorded rounds of 73, 72 and 73 to finish on four-under-par 218. The 2016 champion leapfrogged overnight leader Gemma Batty to claim victory once again at the Old Course. Hazel MacGarvie came in third at one-over-par 223.

On playing at the Arnold Palmer Cup in the first year a women’s event has been included, Ryan said, “I’m very excited about being able to go and represent the International Team against the Unites States in the Arnold Palmer Cup - I can’t wait.”

OTHER IRISH SCORES:

T8 Peter Kerr (University of St Andrews) 73 76 67 216

T10 Eugene Smith (Maynooth University) 70 71 76 217

12 Caolan Rafferty (Maynooth University) 74 70 74 218

T13 John Hickey (Cork Institute of Technology) 73 72 74 219

T15 Alexander Wilson (University of St Andrews) 73 73 74 220

T17 Eanna Griffin (Maynooth University) 71 79 71 221

21 Cathal Butler (Maynooth University) 72 75 75 222

24 Darragh Coghlan (University of Limerick) 76 77 71 224

T25 Alan Fahy (Maynooth University) 75 76 74 225

T29 Ross Dutton (Ulster University) 78 76 75 229

T33 Gary Ward (Cork Institute of Technology) 74 80 77 231

T36 Ted Collins (University College Dublin) 80 78 75 233

38 Aaron Ryan (Maynooth University) 79 77 78 234

40 Liam Power (Maynooth University) 75 77 86 238

RTD Stefan Greenberg (Ulster University) 82 78 RT 160

Women

4 Jessica Ross (Queens University Belfast) 78 73 75 226

6 Clodagh Walsh (Maynooth University) 78 82 73 233

7 Molly Dowling (Maynooth University) 82 78 74 234

9 Mary Doyle (Maynooth University) 82 73 81 236

T12 Ciara Casey (Maynooth University) 82 80 76 238

15 Shannon Burke (Ulster University Jordanstown) 75 86 79 24

Augusta National to host women’s tournament

Augusta National, which did not allow women members until 2012, will hold a new women’s tournament the Saturday before hosting next year’s Masters. The inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship will be contested over 54 holes by 72 players in 2019, said the club chairman Fred Ridley. The first two rounds will be played at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta.

A cut to the lowest 30 scores follows and the final round will take place at Augusta National on Saturday April 6th.

The timing of the tournament could present some of the world’s best women amateurs with a dilemma because the first major championship of the season - the ANA Inspiration - is traditionally played the week before the Masters.

Greene best in Hilary

Portmarnock’s John Greene won the penultimate outing in the 2018 Hilary Golf Society season at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links. The plus one handicapper shot a level par 71 to beat Forrest Little five-handicapper Martin Kelly on a count back. Peter Kane from Ashbourne won the gross prize with a fine 73.

Kelly also won the team event when he joined forces with Royal Dublin’s Liam Hutchinson and Athy’s Jonathan Kelly to shoot an excellent score of 61.

The final outing of the season takes place on Friday next, April 13th, at Royal Dublin.

International Field for Roganstown

The Irish Girls Under-18 Open Stroke Play Championship takes place at Roganstown Golf and Country Club next weekend. The Championship will be played over 54 holes - 18 holes Friday and Saturday with the top 50 players plus ties progressing to the final 18 holes on Sunday.

An international field of 114 players representing 14 countries will compete for the Championship and with 90 per cent of the field five handicap or less, the talent on show promises to captivate. In recent years it has been the International contingent who have been successful at the event. Ingrid Lindblad (Sweden) won in 2017 and a team of no less than 16 Swede’s with further players from Denmark and Norway will ensure a strong Scandinavian bid.

The Irish challenge has, however, always been strong in this event since its inception in 2012. Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell) and Olivia Mehaffey (RCDL) claimed the title from 2012 to 2015 and no doubt the players in the 2018 event would like to follow on from their success.

Current top ranked Irish Under-18 player Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) is unavailable due to exam commitments this year meaning Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden) will be the top ranked player in the field. Members of the Irish Girls Home Internationals Team Valerie Clancy (Killarney), Sara Byrne (Douglas), Beth Coulter (Kirkistown Castle) and Emma Forbes (Royal Portrush) will also be players to watch.

Wire-to-wire win for O’Neill

Connemara’s Luke O’Neill mastered the wind and rain to complete a wire-to-wire win in the Connacht Golf Under-18 Boys Open at Carne Golf Links.

Four ahead of Mullingar’s Adam Smith after opening rounds of 75 and 70, the Galway player closed with a four-over 76 to win by eight strokes on five-over-par 221 from Odhran Maguire, younger brother of Duke University’s Leona and Lisa, at Belmullet Golf Club.

Maguire shot 78, 75 and 76 to finish second on 229 with Dungarvan’s Daniel Raher third on 231 after rounds of 81, 76 and a best-of-the-day 74 for 231.

Muster duo for Fairhaven Trophy

The Fairhaven Trophy will get underway on Friday 4th of May at the impressive Fairhaven Golf Club, Lytham. This prestigious Under-18 event, which regularly attracts a quality international field is played over 72 holes of stroke play and is a coveted title in the boys and girls annual calendar.

After an impressive opening to the season, Sara Byrne (Douglas) has been selected to return to the event for a second time and will look to progress from her tied third position last year. Aine Donegan (Woodstock) has also been selected to travel after finishing third in the Carlow Scratch Cup and second in the Munster Senior Championship. The Munster duo will also compete in the Nations Cup event, which will be played over the first 36 holes.

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