The Final Four: Coulter, Foster, Byrne and Donegan

​The Irish Girls' Close Championship has reached the final day at Galway with four Internationals the last standing

  • 18 July 2019

​Caption: Aine Donegan (Lahinch) during the first round of the Irish Girls' Close Championship at Galway | Golffile



Beth Coulter, Anna Foster, Sara Byrne and Aine Donegan are the final four players at the Irish Girls’ Close Championship in Galway.

Fifteen-year-old Beth Coulter, leading qualifier this week, has played camogie since she was three, golf was never on her radar until Kirkistown Castle Professional Neil Graham visited her primary school to offer five weeks coaching. 

Two years later and Beth had played her way onto the ILGU Horizon Performance Panel and was selected for the U14 team for a friendly match against Wales alongside Donegan and Anna Dawson. As another two years past, Coulter competed in her first Women’s Amateur this June and represented GB&I at the Junior Vagliano Trophy at Royal St. Georges. Tomorrow will be her first Irish Girls’ Close Championship semi-final. 

Anna Foster was two holes down to her quarter final opponent Jan Browne (Kilkenny) through 12 holes but when the won the short par 4 19th she too would also reach her first Irish Close semi-final. The Elm Park teenager represented Ireland at the European Girls’ Team Championships in Spain last week, her first time at that event having made her debut for Ireland at the Home International matches in Ballybunion last August. 
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Caption: Anna Foster (Elm Park) during the first round of the Irish Girls' Close Championship at Galway | Golffile

Sara Byrne was Irish Women’s Close Champion in 2018 and would join a short list of players to win both Close Championships should tomorrow go her way. Hailing from Douglas, Byrne will begin her college career at University of Miami in the Autumn of 2020.

The last player to secure her place in the semi-finals was Aine Donegan from Lahinch. Donegan faced Kate Lanigan (Hermitage) in the quarter-finals and while the defending champion was two holes up at the turn Donegan is not one to let a match go easily. Eighteen holes wasn’t enough as both players were three under par – a conceded birdie at the 20th would ultimately be the decider, ensuring Donegan would be Byrne’s semi-final opponent. 

Meanwhile, Annabel Greham (Ballina), Emma Fenlon (Grange), Caoimhe O’Grady (Blackbush) and Anna Dawson (Tramore) will compete for the Plate.

SEMI FINAL – Friday 19 July
08:00 Coulter v Foster; 08:10 Byrne v Donegan

Coulter beat O’Hara 8&7; Browne lost to Foster 19th; Byrne beat Masding 3&2; Donegan beat Lanigan 20th

SEMI FINAL – Friday 19 July
08:20 Greham v Fenlong; 08:30 O’Grady v Dawson

Thorne lost to Greham 4&3; Poots lost to Fenlon 1 hole; K. Fleming lost to O’Grady 2&1; Dawson beat E. Fleming 3&2