Foster off to a flier at The Women's Amateur

​​Anna Foster best of the Irish as Moresco (Italy) and Screen (England) lead at Royal County Down

  • 11 June 2019

​Caption: Anna Foster (Elm Park) during the first round at The Women's Amateur at Royal County Down | Golffile

While Royal County Down Golf Club hosted The Women’s Amateur Championship last in 2006, today the Championship began at the club again for a ninth time and now matches Royal Portrush as the only other venue to host the event on as many occasions. 

The first half of 36 qualifying holes were completed in blustery conditions on the links which sits in the shadow the Slieve Donard. Angelica Moresco (Italy) and Hannah Screen (England) are best placed following the opening day’s play on four under par. 

Seven from Ireland compete in the field of 144 where 26 countries are represented and 12 players are ranked inside the top 50 of the World Amateur Golf Rankings: Shannon Burke (Ballinrobe), Sara Byrne (Douglas), Beth Coulter (Kirkistown Castle), Aine Donegan (Woodstock), Anna Foster (Elm Park), Paula Grant (Lisburn) and Mairead Martin (Kanturk). 

Early starters Donegan and Coulter struggled to get going from the off and five three-putts on the front nine left Coulter well over par at the turn. Nonetheless, a steady finishing nine leaves hope of progressing to the matchplay stages after tomorrow’s second round. 

Burke posted a one under par 35 for her opening nine holes but bogey’s on 11, 12, 13 and 15 saw her slip to a three over par total.

“I played well, I just hit four bad drives on the back nine which cost me the four bogeys. I hit it into places that I just couldn’t make par from so it was a case of making no worse than bogey.” 

“Sixteen and eighteen were on for birdies and I had good chances that I didn’t convert but I’m looking forward to going out early tomorrow.”

Anna Foster couldn’t of hoped for a better start as she eagled the par 5 third, holing from 35ft after her 3-wood approach found the middle of the green. Despite five bogeys in her next eleven holes, Foster rallied to birdie 16 and 18 and finished on one over.

“It was playing tough out there today,” said the 17-year-old from Dublin. “I knew anything in or around level par was going to be pretty good. It was nice to give myself that eagle as a cushion early on in the round as I knew I could afford to drop a couple.”

“The back nine was tough, we turned just as the wind got up but it was the same for everyone and I knew from 9 to 13 I just needed to hang on.”

Sara Byrne finished with a birdie on her final hole, unfortunately however this was also her first of the day as she shot a seven-over 80 to tie the score of Coulter. 

In first event since coming home from her freshman year at Louisville, Mairead Martin was level par through 6 holes but slipped to finish on five over which leaves her in a tie for 78th. 
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Caption: Paula Grant (Lisburn) during the first round at The Women's Amateur at Royal County Down | Golffile

Highest ranked Ireland player in the field Paula Grant proved one of the most consistent players once again as carded 12 pars in her opening 75. 

ILGU High Performance players Olivia Mehaffey (RCDL), Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) and Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden) are unavailable due to injury and exams respectively while Julie McCarthy (Forrest Little) was selected to represent the International Team at the Palmer Cup in Arkansas.

Carla Reynolds