Three golfers named Sportswoman of the Month for June

Leona Maguire, Olivia Mehaffey and Maria Dunne share award for Curtis Cup exploits

Maria Dunne, Olivia Mehaffey and Leona Maguire share the Sportswoman of the Month award for June after their part in Great Britain and Ireland’s Curtis Cup victory. Photograph: Inpho/Colm O’Neill

We've had our fair share of double monthly awards over the years but June has produced our very first treble, the contributions of the three Irish members of the Curtis Cup team that reclaimed the trophy from the United States at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club last month making it simply impossible to separate them. Leona Maguire, Olivia Mehaffey and Maria Dunne, then, get to share another prize.

Between them, the trio won nine and a half of Britain and Ireland’s 11 and half points, a tally that gave them a three point victory over the Curtis Cup holders, only Britain and Ireland’s second success in the competition in a decade.

Maguire, the 21-year-old from Cavan, was on the team that triumphed in Scotland in 2012 but 18-year old Mehaffey from Banbridge and Skerries’ Dunne, at 33 the oldest player on either team, were making their Curtis Cup debuts.

The Olympics-bound Maguire took four from five points in her contests, with Mehaffey contributing three and a half, including halving her match with world number one Hannah O'Sullivan on the final day. Dunne teamed up with Meghan MacLaren to produce wins in the foursomes and fourballs, birdies on the 12th, 13th and 16th from the Dubliner in the fourballs clinching the win over Bailey Tardy and Mariel Galdiano.

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“Winning the Curtis Cup is everything I thought it would be and 100 times more,” said the gifted Mehaffey, the world’s ninth leading amateur who won the Scottish and Welsh Open Amateur Stroke Play Championships last year and the Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play earlier this season. Dunne, meanwhile, said she knew the experience would be special, “but I didn’t realise it was going to be quite as good as this”.

It was a stunning success by the British and Irish team against an American side that not only included world number one O’Sullivan but three other top 10 players, Sierra Brooks (6), Galdiano (7) and Tardy (8), the remaining four members all ranked in the top twenty-five.

For their performances at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club, then, Leona Maguire, Olivia Mehaffey and Maria Dunne are our June Sportswomen of the Month.

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times