Leonard and Sinclair in semis – Maguire wins in Paris!

RORY Leonard (Banbridge), fresh from a victory at last week’s Lee Valley Scratch Cup (Co Cork), has reached the semi-finals of the West of Ireland Championship at Rosses Point.

Leonard, an Ulster regular, remained composed in the wet and windy weather to see off Pat Murray (Limerick) in the last 16 and then Jeffrey Hopkins (Skerries) in the quarter-finals.

The Junior Golf Ireland development officer reached the final of the West back in 1999, eventually losing out to Finland’s Mikko Ilonen.

He will be joined in the last four by another Ulster stalwart, Michael Sinclair (Knock).

Sinclair accounted for Michael McGinley (Grange) in the last 16 before hammering Eoin Arthurs (Forrest Little) 6&4 in the quarter-finals.

Sinclair meets Eddie McCormack (Galway) in today’s semi-final with Leonard playing the in-form Rory McNamara (Headfort).

McNamara finished tied for second in the recent Leinster Youths Amateur Open Championship at Laytown & Bettystown GC.

Meanwhile, Leona Maguire (Co Cavan) successfully defended her French U21 title at St. Cloud Golf Club in Paris yesterday.

The 15-year-old found herself three down after just eight holes against Norwegian Tonje Daffinrud but clawed her way back into the tie and levelled matters after the opening 18 of the 36 hole final.

Maguire went ahead for the first time on the 20th hole and although she was pegged back by her opponent, she eventually seized control to wrap up a 3&2 victory.

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