Some Facts behind the 2019 National Ladies Strokeplay Championships
By John Manning
- Martha O’Brien becomes the second Tipperary player (after two-time victor Breda White) to win the National Ladies Senior Grade Strokeplay championship. She is also the first member of Lakeside to be crowned National Ladies Senior Grade Strokeplay Champion Martha is also the fifth National Girls’ Champion (after Ann Ginnane, Marian Byrne, Bernadette Coffey and Tracey McGrath) to go on to be Senior Champion. Martha also became the first player to win the Munster Ladies Strokeplay and the National Ladies Strokeplay in the same season since Norma O’Brien in 1992. Martha’s 48 is the lowest Final 18 by a Champion since Chrissie Byrne fired 47 at Navan in 2013.
- Chrissie Byrne has been Runner-Up on both occasions the Championships have been contested at St. Bridget’s. She has also finished second for the third successive year in the National Ladies Strokeplay Championship; matching Margaret Hogan’s run in 1980, 1981 and 1982. She now has been Runner-Up in the last six National Ladies championships (Matchplay/Strokeplay) in-a-row. Her nine second places overall in National Matchplay and Strokeplay Championships ties Teresa McGuigan and is second only to Margaret Hogan. Chrissie’s now four silver medals in the Strokeplay, matching Ger Ward and Teresa McGuigan and behind only Margaret Hogan on that particular list. She has made the 36-hole cut in the 54-hole National Ladies Strokeplay championship 16 times in-a-row (Championship was played over 36 holes in 2018).
- It was the eighth play-off in history and the second successive play-off to require sudden death. Chrissie Byrne has been in two, losing both. Ger Ward has also contested two play-offs, winning both. The first play-off (in 1965) was over 18 holes. The other seven have been over nine holes, with sudden death being required twice (in 2014 and in 2019).
- Tara Dillon recorded her eighth Top 3 position in the National Ladies Strokeplay Championship – an event she has yet to win. Tara was third for the second successive year, for the third time in five stagings and for the fifth time in all. Tara Dillon has made the 36-hole cut twelve times in-a-row.
- Maree O’Toole captured the newly created Nett award in the National Ladies Strokeplay Championship 36 years since she participated in a three way play-off for the overall Championship at Lakewood in 1983.
- Marian Courtney celebrated the 20th anniversary of her National Strokeplay Championship win by taking the Final 18 prize.
- The 2004 cut at St. Bridget’s was 104 (12 players). In 2019 the cut fell at 110 (9 players). Four of the players that reached the 2004 final round at St. Bridget’s also qualified in 2019 – Chrissie Byrne, Marian Courtney, Tara Dillon and Margaret Hogan.
- Ger Ward’s withdrawal brought an end to her run of 17 consecutive cuts.
- Tipperary supplied the Senior and Intermediate champions in the same year for the first time ever. It is 14 years since both Senior and Inter winners in the same year were last from the same county (Chrissie Byrne and Esther Martin in 2005)
- Patsy O’Donovan adds a second place in the National Ladies Intermediate Strokeplay championship to Runner-Up in the National Ladies Matchplay Nett Cup. It’s a third National Ladies Strokeplay championship podium finish in five years for Patsy as she was Runner-Up in the 2015 National Ladies O-55 Intermediate Strokeplay Championship in 2015 and third in that event two years ago.
- 2017 National Ladies Junior Strokeplay Champion Margaret Forde finished third in the National Intermediate Ladies Strokeplay Championship for the second successive year.
- For the third consecutive year, Audrey Donnelly contended at the business end of the National Ladies Strokeplay championship. The Inter 36 Nett at St. Bridget’s follows on from fourth in Junior two years ago and a bronze medal in the 2018 Junior Championship.
- 2012 National Ladies Junior Strokeplay Champion Ailish Sexton now boasts four top six finishes in the National Ladies Intermediate Strokeplay championship – sixth in 2014 and 2017, third three years ago and fourth (and Best Final 18) in 2019.
- Bridget Shelley becomes the second player in history (after Linda O’Donovan) to win the National Ladies Intermediate Grade Strokeplay Championship title on two occasions. Bridget is the sixth player representing a Tipperary club to win the National Ladies Intermediate Strokeplay championship – five of those wins have been since 2007! She is also the first player in history to win the National Ladies Junior Strokeplay championship and two National Ladies Intermediate Strokeplay championships. She made up a four shot 36-hole deficit at St. Bridget’s, which is the best recovery by an Intermediate Champion since Mary Murray won at St. Stephen’s in 2016 after being seven shots behind with a round to go.
- Adeline Revins is the second ever member of the Kilbeggan club (and the second from Westmeath) to win the National Ladies Junior Grade Strokeplay championship. Adeline is also the 2019 Leinster Ladies Junior Strokeplay Champion and the National Ladies Junior Strokeplay Champion. The last player to achieve that was Lauren Pyke in 2013.
- Anne Sweeney adds runners-up spot in the National Ladies Junior Strokeplay championship to her win at McDonagh last year in the National Ladies O-55 Junior Strokeplay championship
- On both occasions the National Ladies Strokeplay Championships have been contested at St. Bridget’s, the junior runner-up has represented the host club. Bridge Logan was second in 2004 – the only other time a St. Bridget’s player has filled that position in the Junior Championship.
- Mary Ann Byrne is the first player ever from the Fermoy club to finish third in the National Ladies Junior Strokeplay Championship. The north Cork club has previously provided one winner and two Runners-Up in the event.
- Gemma Coyle is the first Glenville club member to collect a prize at the National Ladies Junior Strokeplay championship since Catherine Ankers was third at Ierne in 2012.
- Liz Forde adds her final 18 award in 2019 to third place in the National Ladies O-55 Junior Strokeplay Championship of 2017.