Short Game: Leona Maguire claims a ninth college title

Meanwhile, victory for Mullarney in Fife, Galway Bay to host Connacht boys and more

Leona Maguire claimed her ninth college title as the Duke women’s golf team swept both the team and individual Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational titles. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Leona Maguire claimed her ninth college title as the Duke women’s golf team swept both the team and individual Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational titles. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

 

In a week when she was named European number one for the third time, Leona Maguire won her ninth individual title as the Duke women’s golf team swept both the team and individual Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational titles in record fashion. Maguire turned in a tournament-record 12-under-par, 204 with rounds of 69, 66 and 69, as the Blue Devils shot the second-lowest 54-hole ledger in school history with a 31-under-par, 833, at Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, North Carlina.

Maguire opened the final round with a par, bogey and birdie, before reeling off six straight pars that included a tough up-and-down at the sixth. She shot back-to-back birdies to open the back nine to get to two under for the day. Maguire added a sand save par on the 481-yard, par five 13th and then rolled in a birdie on 14. Her second bogey of the day came at the 15th, but once again responded with her fifth birdie on the 361-yard, par the 16th to get back to three under. Maguire had a par on 17 and then hit her approach on 18 into the greenside bunker. She blasted an amazing shot to within inches and sealed the victory with the par.

This win was Maguire’s second of the season and ninth of her career. She has carded five rounds in the 60s so far this season.

Victory for Mullarney in Fife playoff

Ronan Mullarney from Maynooth University was celebrating victory at the 13th Fife Students Tournament after defeating Monty Scowsill (Exeter) and Robert Foley (Stirling) in an exciting play off in the men’s competition while Chloe Goadby (Stirling) took the spoils in the women’s competition ahead of a tense battle for second and third between St Andrews’ Lieve van Veggel and Kirsten Brown and Stirling’s Jen Saxton.

Despite a very impressive 69 from Bjorn Bojesen (St Andrews) it was soon clear that the winner was going to be the player who could limit their mistakes over the final 18 holes. The competition went this way and that between the final three groups but it soon became clear that the leading contenders were Mullarney, Scowsill, and Foley. After a to and fro competition, and with Scowsill already in the clubhouse, Mullarney was unable to hole his birdie putt on 18 while Foley made his to leave all three on seven over for the tournament.

All three players headed back to the first tee and while the first time around all three made birdie, the second time around Foley wasn’t able to match the others and so it was left to Mullarney and Scowsill to head down the 14th to decide the winner. A very fine par four from Mullareny was enough to secure him the title.

Maynooth won the team prize as Mullarney’s final round of 74 gave them victory by one shot over St Andrews .

While a three stroke lead at the start of play seemed a comfortable cushion for Goadby, Kirsten Brown (St Andrews) pushed her all the way, at one stage moving into a tie for the lead until a double bogey at 16 gave Goadby breathing space. Earlier in the day, Lieve van Veggel had shot a superb level par 74 to set the clubhouse lead at +13 and only Goadby was able to beat that, finishing at +8. Both Jen Saxton (Stirling) and Brown matched van Veggel but, on countback, Saxton took third with Brown fourth.

In the women’s team competition, it was a case of déjà vu for St Andrews as van Veggel’s round of the day wasn’t quite enough to see St Andrews I home, Stirling I taking the team prize by two shots.

Irish Scores

Men: 225 Eugene Smith (Maynooth) 82 71 72, George Burns (St Andrews) 74 73 78.

227 Cathal Butler (Maynooth) 75 70 82.

229 Caolan Rafferty (Maynooth) 81 71 77.

231 Eanna Griffin (Maynooth) 81 72 78.

238 Jordan Hood (Maynooth) 82 74 82.

Team: 680 Maynooth 1, 681 St Andrews 1, 687 Exeter 1.

Women: 230 Chloe Goadby (Stirling) 77 73 80.

235 Lieve Van Veggel (St Andrews) 83 78 74, Jennifer Saxton (Stirling) 74 80 81, Kirsten Brown (St Andrews) 81 72 82

236 Clodagh Walsh (Maynooth) 76 81 79.

256 Mary Doyle (Maynooth) 85 79 92.

Missed Cut: 166 Molly Dowling (Maynooth) 85 81.

Team: 471 Stirling 1, 473 St Andrews 1, 478 Stirling 3, 492 Maynooth 1.

Galway Bay Golf Resort to host Connacht Boys

Due to a large scale capital investment programme in the course at Athenry GC it has been decided by the Connacht Branch in consultation with the club to switch the Connacht Boys Championship to the Galway Bay Golf Resort on November 1st-3rd.

A field of just 78 players shall battle it out for the final Boys Championship of the year and also valuable national Order of Merit points. No doubt such a small field shall have a significent impact on the handicap cut off mark but shall in turn create a very high calibre event for those involved.

Yates second at Nassau Invitational

Jonathan Yates finished runner-up at the Nassau Invitational in New York, losing out to leading qualifier Trevor Randolph 5 and 4 in the final. Yates was just one shot behind Randolph in stroke play qualifying and progressed to the final following wins over Matt Rendel (4 and 3), Jonathan Jeter (3 and 2) and Jay Card (2 and 1). Flogas Irish Amateur Open Champion Peter O’Keeffe bowed out in the quarter-finals when he was beaten by Randolph.

Top-10 secure cards for 2018

The Symetra Tour crowned the final top 10 on the Volvik Race for the Card money list last week at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Florida, following the conclusion of the Symetra Tour Championship.

The class is led by Symetra Tour Player of the Year, Benyapa Niphatsophon who posted 17 top 25 finishes in 20 starts this season. Finishing number two on the money list is Hannah Green the Gaelle Truet Rookie of the Year who collected three victories on Tour this season.

For the first time in Symetra Tour history three players cracked $100,000 in season earnings. Players in the top 10 hail from seven different countries including: Thailand, Australia, France, Denmark, USA, Canada and China.

The top -10 are: 1. Benyapa Niphatsophon, 20, Bangkok, Thailand; 2. Hannah Green, 20, Perth, Australia; 3. Celine Boutier, 23, Montrouge, France; 4. Nanna Koerstz Madsen, 22, Copenhagen, Denmark; 5. Yu Liu, 21, Beijing; 6. Erynne Lee, 24, Silverdale, Washington; 7. Lindsey Weaver, 24, Bellefontaine, Ohio; 8. Anne-Catherine Tanguay, 26, Quebec, Canada; 9. Emma Talley, 23, Princeton, Kentucky; 10. Katelyn Dambaugh, 23, North Charleston, South Carolina.

Druids Glen Alliance tees off

The Druids Glen Winter Alliance, sponsored by Titleist, tees off at Druids Glen on October 23rd for the first of 16 singles stableford competitions open to both amateurs and professionals.

Alternating with its sister course, Duids Heath, the Winter Alliance offers golfers a chance to keep their games razor sharp between now and the Grand Final on March 18th.

The Druids Glen Winter Alliance will run on Mondays over two eight-week periods either side of Christmas - from October 23rd to December 11th 2017 and from January 15th to March 2nd .

Druids Glen: Mondays - 23 Oct, 6 Nov, 20 Nov, 4 Dec, 15 Jan, 29 Jan, 12 Feb, 26 Feb.

Druids Heath: Mondays - 30 Oct, 13 Nov, 27 Nov, 11 Dec, 22 Jan, 5 Feb, 19 Feb, 5 Mar.

Grand Final, Druids Glen, Sunday, 18 Mar.

Weekly entry fees: €50 Amateur Druids Glen and €30 Amateur Druids Heath

€30 PGA Professional Druids Glen and €25 PGA Professional Druids Heath

Order of Merit: The top 20 players from the Order of Merit will join the 16 weekly winners in the Grand Final on the Druids Glen course in March 2018 sponsored by Titleist.

PGA, GUI & ILGU Order of Merit Registration fee - €30 Those who register for Order of Merit receive discounted weekly entry fees: €40 Amateur Druids Glen and €25 Amateur Druids Heath, €20 PGA Professional Druids Glen and €20 PGA Professional Druids Heath. To book visit www.druidsglenresort.com

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