Mairead Martin wins Irish Girls Close Championship

2017 Irish Girls Close Championship at Mallow Golf Club

Mairead Martin (Kanturk) with the Girls Close Championship (Blake Cup) trophy after her victory at the 2017 Irish Girls Close Championship at Mallow Golf Club today. Picture by Pat Cashman

Kanturk’s Mairead Martin claimed her first national title today, and did so in front of a huge crowd of supporters in Mallow Golf Club.  Martin claimed the Irish Girls Close title after five days of golf in Mallow, and did so in style – never going beyond the 15th hole in the five matchplay rounds.  After confidently striking her first tee shot down their middle of the fairway, Mairead went 1 up through1 and didn’t ease up from there. Four up at the turn, birdies at the 10th and 11th saw Martin go 6 up with 7 holes to play. The match was finished in style with an eagle from Mairead at the 444-yard par 5 12th to close out the game 7&6.

“I’m delighted to win, my short game was on form this week, I pitched in for eagle on the 12th this afternoon to win the match which was a good way to finish”” said a happy Mairead.  “I was at home in my own bed all week too which was also nice and to have so much support from the club was class! I had my sister on the bag too this week which was entertaining! She doesn’t play much golf but I hope she might take it up after this week!”  The Kanturk girl will enjoy a few days off now, and will head to Donabate at the end of next week for the Leinster Womens Championship.

2017 Irish Girls Close Championship at Mallow Golf Club

Vonnie Noonan (President, ILGU) presenting Mairead Martin (Kanturk) with the Girls Close Championship (Blake Cup) trophy after her victory at the 2017 Irish Girls Close Championship at Mallow Golf Club today. Also in the picture are (from left) Mary Fitzpatrick (Lady Captain, Kanturk Golf Club) and Nora Daly (Lady President, Kanturk Golf Club) and Kanturk Golf Club supporters. Picture by Pat Cashman

There were a number of strong performances from Cork’s leading girls.  Leading qualifier Rachel Thompson had backed up her strokeplay performance with some good wins in the early matchplay rounds but she exited the championship this morning at the hands of Maeve Rooney in the semi-final.  Valerie Clancy was going well too but lost out to Martin in this morning’s second semi-final.

There was disappointment for Sara Byrne in the Plate final.  The Douglas golfer lost to Leah Temple Lang on the first play-of hole.  Byrne had beaten Nicole McGavisk (3&2) in the morning semi-final and got off to a good start in the final.  With both girls playing some very impressive golf, Temple Lang got back to all square on the 15th and she won out on the 19th.  Byrne now heads for Oslo for the European Young Masters which takes place this week.

Pictures courtesy Pat Cashman Photography/ILGU
Additional Reporting ILGU

Irish Girls Close Championship Final, Mallow Golf Club
Maeve Rooney lost to Mairead Martin 7&6

Semi Finals
Rachel Thompson lost to Maeve Rooney 3&1
Valerie Clancy lost to Mairead Martin 5&4

Pat Fletcher Plate Final
Sara Byrne lost to Leah Temple Lang 19th

Semi Final
Nicole McGavisk lost to Sara Byrne 3&2
Leah Temple Lang beat Jan Browne 3&1