Posts Tagged ‘Annabel Wilson’

USA cruise to Espirito Santo Trophy success; Ireland finish in 11th

September 2, 2018

The United States of America produced a final day flourish to win the World Amateur Championship and take home the Espirito Santo Trophy for the first time since 1998.
Ireland entered the closing round at Carton House with an outside chance of taking a medal but they failed to gain ground and an even par return for the day left them finishing in a tie for 11th place.
Japan finished second on 19 under with the Republic of Korea one shot further back in third.
Winning bronze two years ago set a new bar for Irish ladies golf, which makes it easy to forget that this week’s display matched Ireland’s previous best of tied 11th in 2010.
“We were up there close but just the second day we didn’t get things going and that kind of put us behind for the whole week,” said Annabel Wilson, whose final round 72 (-1) was Ireland’s best score on the less demanding O’Meara Course.
Olivia Mehaffey was Ireland’s highest placed individual, tied 12th on three under. Wilson tied 23rd on minus one and Lisburn’s Paula Grant birdied the last for 75 to share 63rd on plus seven.
“To go four under on the Monty was pretty good,” said Mehaffey.
“Disappointing on the O’Meara. It was out there. I really, really struggled with the flat stick. I lost my feel and that’s the way it goes sometimes when you chase it.”
Five shots clear going into the last round, the US coasted home by 10. Kristen Gillman carded 67 and world number one Jennifer Kupcho shot 69 as Korea dropped from second to third with Japan taking silver.
There was some consolation for Korea’s Ayean Cho, who finished as the leading individual on 17 under.
The World Amateur Team Championships are being hosted by the ILGU and GUI with support from Sport Ireland.

Copy via ILGU/GUI

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Lurgan’s Wilson relishing ‘home’ Espirito Santo Trophy opportunity at Carton House

August 28, 2018

The Irish Ladies Team of Paula Grant, Olivia Mehaffey and Annabel Wilson in high spirits after their final practice round at the 2018 World Amateur Team Championship at Carton House Golf Resort,
Picture by Pat Cashman

Ireland will be hoping to make the most of home advantage this week when the World Amateur Team Championship gets underway at Carton House on Wednesday (August 29th).
Two years ago in Mexico, Ireland collected bronze with a team featuring Leona Maguire, Olivia Mehaffey and Annabel Wilson.
Maguire has since moved on to the professional ranks but Wilson (Lurgan) and Mehaffey (RCDL) are back in the Irish team and have been joined this time by GB&I Curtis Cup player Paula Grant (Lisburn).
“It was so nice playing two years ago. At that stage of my career, it was the highest level I had played at,” said Annabel.
“So it was a big goal for me to make the team here at Carton House. It’s very special to be playing at home. The Home Internationals were down at Ballybunion and it really does add something special.
“We also played the British Amateur up at Ardglass and it was lovely to see family out there watching because you want to hit good shots for them.”
Still not 18, Annabel has already racked up an impressive list of results including a win at the French U18 Championship in 2017. This season she has enjoyed top-15s at the Portuguese Amateur and the Faldo Series International Finals as well as progressing to the last 32 at the Ladies British Amateur Championship.
In the process, Wilson broke into the world’s top 100 [currently ranked 85th] and she managed all this whilst studying and completing exams.
She added; “I finished my AS exams in May and will start my A-Levels in September. I feel like I didn’t manage my time well and I was playing catch up throughout the whole year. It was tough on me.

“Next year I won’t be playing as many tournaments. I need to try and get my exam results so I can take up a place at UCLA in September 2019. It’s a huge opportunity and I really want to get there.”

This year there are a record number of entries (58) attempting to snatch the Espirito Santo Trophy away from South Korea who won by a record-equalling margin of 21 strokes two-years ago.
Each team is made up of two or three players, who each play 18 holes of stroke play over four days (Wed-Sat). In each round, the total of the two lowest scores from each team constitutes the team score for the round. The four-day (72-hole) total is the team’s score for the championship.
“We play with South Korea the first two rounds so they are obviously the best in the world so it’s incredible that we peg ourselves with them but again we’re very much focusing on our game,” said team captain Danielle McVeigh.
“It’s good to see where we’re at but they might win or they might not play well. If we just test ourselves against who we’re playing with, it might be no use either. It’s cool to see but let’s get on with it and hit our own shots.”
And Ireland’s leading player, Olivia Mehaffey, is refusing to put too much pressure on her team to succeed at home.
“I personally don’t have any expectations for this week. I just want to have a really good time, enjoy it,” said the 20-year-old from Banbridge who is ranked 23rd in the world.
“I think I tend to play better when I’m having a good time. I think it’s exciting that it’s in Ireland. I love playing in front of people and hopefully we get some good crowds in.
“In Mexico, we had no expectations. It was a big surprise to us to get a bronze medal. It would be lovely to do the same thing again but you know, hole by hole and day by day.”

Ireland select Mehaffey, Wilson and Grant for Espirito Santo Trophy bid at Carton House

August 1, 2018

Olivia Mehaffey in action with ASU

Olivia Mehaffey will lead Ireland’s bid for World Championship success at Carton House (Aug 29-Sept 1).
The Banbridge golfer, ranked 21 in the world, has been named in Ireland’s three-person team alongside Paula Grant (Lisburn) and Annabel Wilson (Lurgan).
Republic of Korea are defending champions following their victory in Mexico two years ago but Ireland will present a strong home challenge having finished third in 2016 to take the bronze medal for the first time.
“I think in the past this small team format has suited Ireland so there’s no reason why we can’t do well this time,” said Olivia who is readying to fly out to Tennessee to compete in the US Women’s Amateur Championship starting on August 6.
“We all know Carton House (Co Kildare) pretty well from playing and practicing down there but to be honest a lot of the other teams have already made trips over to see the venue and the facilities.

“From a personal point of view, it’s nearly more important to have fans out there encouraging and supporting you so I hope we get some good crowds at the event.”

It will be the first time Ireland has played host to the Championships, with the Golfing Union of Ireland and the Irish Ladies Golf Union combining to host the event, welcoming competitors from 72 participating nations.
Annabel and Olivia played in the last staging in 2016 alongside Leona Maguire but this will be a debut appearance in the event for Paula Grant.
The golf gets underway on 29 August with the Women’s World Championship for the Espirito Santo Trophy. The men’s championship for the Eisenhower Trophy begins a week later on 5 September.
It’s been another hectic summer of golf for Olivia who will return to college in America following the US Amateur. The 20-year-old has competed in the Curtis Cup, Palmer Cup, Euro Team Championships and the most recently the Euro Amateur Championships.
“The final result in the Curtis Cup was disappointing (GB&I lost 17-3 against the USA) but I was involved in some really good matches and I took some confidence from that,” added Olivia.
“We performed well at the Team Championship in Austria and then I played pretty well last week at the Euro Amateur. It was probably one of my best ball-striking tournaments of the year but I just didn’t putt great. Overall, I feel like I am moving in the right direction.”
Meanwhile, Irish Women’s Close Champion Sara Byrne and Lauren Walsh, who made her senior international debut this year will travel alongside Wilson to the World Junior Golf Championships in Ottawa.
The event, which is by invite only, will pit 20 International Teams against one another at Camleot Golf & Country Club from September 9th to 14th.
Tickets for the World Amateur Team Championships are free of charge but those wishing to attend are asked to register for them in advance at http://www.watc2018.ie.

Excited Grant joins Mehaffey on GB&I Curtis Cup team for Quaker Ridge clash

April 27, 2018

Paula Grant in action at County Louth Golf Club.
Image by Jenny Matthews (www.cashmanphotography.ie)

Ulster and Ireland amateur stars Olivia Mehaffey (RCDL) and Paula Grant (Lisburn) have been included in the GB&I team to face the United States in the 40th Curtis Cup match which will be played at Quaker Ridge, New York from 8-10 June.
GB&I will defend the historic trophy after securing an 11½-8½ win over the United States at Dun Laoghaire two years ago.
Paula Grant is a former R&A Foundation scholar and last year she won the Irish Women’s Close Championship for the second time in five years following her success in the event in 2013.

“I’m so excited and can’t wait to get over there,” said Paula who led the qualifiers after the stroke play stage of the 2017 Ladies British Open Amateur Championship at Pyle & Kenfig.

“I made a decision a year or so ago to put more time into my golf and I’ve worked hard with the ILGU coaches and my own coach at Lisburn, Stephen Hamill, it’s nice to get the rewards.”

The 24-year-old optometrist admitted that watching her Irish international contemporaries Maria Dunne, Leona Maguire and Olivia Mehaffey competing at recent Curtis Cups had provided extra incentive.
“I was on the fringes of selection four years ago but I probably wasn’t ready,” she added.
“When I saw how well Maria, Leona and Olivia have played in recent Curtis Cup matches I really started to believe that I could compete at that level as well.”
Olivia and Alice Hewson will be making their second appearances for GB&I in the Curtis Cup after featuring on the winning side at Dun Laoghaire in 2016.
In 2016 Olivia won the Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play Championship and Welsh Ladies Open Stroke Play Championship.
This year, she finished tied first in the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, her first collegiate tournament representing Arizona State University, and has been selected for the International Team to play against the United States in the Palmer Cup at Evian, France in July.

Elaine Farquharson-Black, who will captain GB&I in the Curtis Cup for the second time, said, “There have been a number of players throughout Great Britain and Ireland who have been in impressive form recently and it was a difficult decision to select only eight.
“The players selected will now have a wonderful opportunity to perform on the international stage in one of the world’s most prestigious events and I’m sure that they will give their very best as we attempt to retain the trophy against a talented team from the United States.”
Ireland’s Leona Maguire, currently the number two golfer in the Women’s Amateur golf rankings will turn professional next month and has ruled herself out of contention for selection.
The non-travelling reserve is another Ulster player, Lurgan’s Annabel Wilson.

Driven Mehaffey targets Curtis Cup and NCAA Championship double in 2018

December 19, 2017

Olivia Mehaffey in action with ASU

Christmas, a time to relax and unwind unless, that is, you’re Olivia Mehaffey (RCDL).
The 20-year-old Irish international hasn’t stopped since flying back home from the US where she is in the second year of a golf scholarship at Arizona State University.
Olivia is in full prep mode, planning for a 2018 that she hopes will include a successful defence of the Curtis Cup with GB&I and the NCAA Championship title with her college teammates.
The Banbridge golfer was recently named on the 14-player provisional GB&I squad along with three other Irish internationals, Paula Grant (Lisburn), Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) and the leading amateur player in the world, Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell).
“I think we will have a really strong team this year,” said Olivia who is currently ranked 13th in the world.
The 40th Curtis Cup match will be played from 8-10 June next year at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in New York. GB&I will be attempting to retain the title after an 11½-8½ win over the US at Dun Laoghaire GC, Co Wicklow in 2016.
In preparation, six potential GB&I team members, including Olivia, Leona and Annabel, met up at the venue last month for a bit of reconnaissance.
“It was really nice to get out there and play the course. It means that whoever gets picked on the team has that bit of knowledge which will certainly help,” added Olivia who won 3.5 points on her Curtis Cup debut at Dun Laoghaire.
“It was a typical parkland with greens that were very quick and had plenty of slope.”
The eight-player team will be announced on April 26 next year. The two leading players on the world rankings will automatically make the team, with six players selected by the R&A’s women’s selection committee.

Given her impressive individual matchplay record – she won three out of three to help Arizona win the NCAA title last May – it would be something of a shock not to see Olivia make the team but she’s not taking anything for granted which is why she was at Carton House last week working with coach Donal Scott.
“The game is good. I’m very happy with how I played this semester, I’m just making a few changes,” added the sociology student.
“I’m working on some new stuff now to get ready for next year.”
Arizona will be defending their title without the experienced Monica Vaughan, who graduated in the summer and Linnea Strom who will turn professional early next year. It’s likely to mean that, as the top-ranked player on the team, more responsibility will fall on Olivia’s shoulders.
She added; “I see myself as a bit of a leader and I think it is a good opportunity to embrace that role.
“I love playing first in match play. It’s about getting out there and getting some early points on the board. It’s something that I thrive on a bit.
“Losing Monica and Linnea is a big hit because they are both top 10 in the world. We will have to step up as a group. We still have a really great team. Four of the squad remain from last year. It’s exciting, we’ll see what happens.”

St Ronan’s and Rathmore Grammar shine at Milltown GC

April 25, 2016
Valerie Hassett (President, Irish Ladies Golf Union) the 2016 Irish Schools Senior & Junior Cup Finals at Milltown Golf Club today (25/04/2016). Picture by Pat Cashman

Valerie Hassett (President, Irish Ladies Golf Union) presents St Ronan’s Lurgan with the Senior Cup

Ulster Schools notched up a double success in the Irish Schools Senior and Junior Cups at Milltown Golf Club on Monday.
St Ronan’s College Lurgan, led by Irish internationals Niamh McSherry and Annabel Wilson, cruised to victory in the Senior event.
The aggregate score of McSherry (33pts) and Wilson (34pts) gave them a 17 point margin of victory over nearest rivals – Ursuline College Sligo
The third member of the team, Eadoin Ward, returned 18pts to help the school to a fourth successive senior crown.
Meanwhile, Rathmore Grammar Belfast, represented by Ciara Brennan and Olivia McCrystal, took home the Junior Cup with a seven point win over runners up Gorey Community School.
The pair shot 23 and 14 gross points respectively.

IRISH SENIOR CUP FINAL
67pts. St. Ronans College, Lurgan: Niamh McSherry 33, Eadaoin Ward [18], Annabel Wilson 34
50pts. Ursuline College Sligo: Niamh Cronin 19, Ella McDermott [3], Maeve Rooney 31
47pts. St. Angela’s Ursuline, Waterford: Katie Aherne 28, Emma Elliott [13], Anna Dawson 19
44pts. St. Patricks Comprehensive: Clare Lisa O’Shea 26, Leanne O’Shea 18
41pts. Muckross College Dublin: Ellen O’Gorman 20, Ellen Dunleavey [14], Anna Foster 21
INDIVIDUAL
Best Gross (Mary Nowlan Trophy): St. Ronans College Lurgan – Annabel Wilson 34pts
Best Nett: Salerno Galway – Mega Harty 39pts

IRISH JUNIOR CUP FINAL
37pts. Rathmore Grammar, Belfast: Ciara Brennan 23, Olivia McCrystal 14
31pts. Gorey Community School: Kate O’Harte 21, Megan Lanigan 10, Holly Mulvey [7]
29pts. Loreto Foxrock: Emma Walsh 13, Caitlin Sherin 16, Laura McCarthy [8]
25pts. Salerno, Galway: Megan Harty 16, Caoimhe McDermott 9, Ciara Murphy [7]
22pts. Colaiste Mhuire Clare: Shannon Hegarty 18, Emma McCarthy 4
JUNIOR INDIVIDUAL
Best Gross: Colaiste Muire Clare – Shannon Hegarty 18pts
Best Nett: Loreto Foxrock – Caitlin Sherin 33pts

Lurgan GC opens new academy with focus on junior development

October 28, 2014
Lurgan Golf Club's new driving range

Lurgan Golf Club’s new driving range

Progressive Lurgan Golf Club is bucking the trend and embracing junior golfers in a bid to secure the long-term future of the club.
Five years after taking what club captain Barry Campbell called huge a ‘leap in the dark’, the Co Armagh venue has officially opened a state-of-the-art 12 bay driving range and teaching academy.
The facility which includes a chipping green, short game area and two practice bunkers has been constructed with financial support from the Department of Social Development via the neighbourhood renewal scheme.
That funding, some £350,000, comes with it certain stipulations and a responsibility to grow the game which the club is embracing.
“Our side of the deal is to promote the game of golf particularly amongst the youth of the area, via schools, clubs and voluntary organisations that are not normally associated with the game,” added Campbell.
“We take this obligation very seriously and in Professional Peter Hanna and assistant Zoe Allen we have two people who are totally committed to this process.
“In Lurgan, we are committed to growing the game through our young people. Thanks to our major champions there is a resurgence of interest in the game particularly amongst young people.

“The future of golf depends on the youth and clubs which fail to recognise this fact do so at their peril. This club, with the help of the superb facilities we now have, intend to tap into that potential.”

Lurgan GC has a growing reputation for developing junior members and it’s starting to pay dividends, particularly in girls golf with Niamh Ward, Niamh McSherry and Annabel Wilson all making their mark at international level. The boys are also showing promise, winning the Ulster section of the Fred Daly Trophy this year.20141024_141459
With the development of this new academy, professional Peter Hanna is hoping to extend the reach of the club into the wider community.
“The club did take a bit of a chance in 2009 when they voted to buy the land (adjacent to the ninth tee). It was mostly forest and was regularly used for anti-social behaviour. The club bought it, and then cleared it at some cost, approximately £500,000, which the members are still paying for via an annual levy,” said Peter.
“The plan was to have an area to hit a few balls. It was open to the elements and was going to be pretty basic. At that stage we became aware that there may be some funding available and that process was driven through by the club officials with two former captains at the helm, Paddy Meehan and Billy Bateman.
“The process was stalled somewhat by some planning appeals but those were eventually overcome and what we have now is really very good. We have the best mats we could buy, perfect for hitting irons off. They are probably better than hitting off grass to be honest. They are soft and really encourage you to strike the ball and then mat.
“The range balls are also high quality Srixion two-piece, they react very similar to a normal ball rather than the bars of soap people sometimes encounter at ranges.”
The venue has been selected as one of the GUI Ulster branch development centres but that is only the start for Peter.
“We are branching out beyond just own our own members into the surrounding area offering beginners classes and group sessions and hopefully eventually getting into the schools as well,” said Peter.
“The facility is open to the public and anyone is welcome to come and use it. Opening times are normally 9am to 9pm and tokens can be purchased in the pro-shop or upstairs in the bar.”