60 Ladies have entered Saturday’s National Junior and Intermediate Strokeplay Championships in Ringcommons. Communications and Press Officer Jason O’Connor takes a closer look at proceedings ahead of tee-off at 9am on the day.
23 have entered for Saturday’s Championship with four entries from the host club namely Annette Rogers, Ann Duffy, Laura Murphy and Veronica Loughman all flying the flag for Ringcommons. Annette tees off in the first pairing with Dina Dillon of St Bridgets while there are two County Strokeplay Champions amongst the field. Margaret Delahunty of Royal Meath was the winner in the Royal County back in May while Dora Keane of Lucan was a more recent winner of the Dublin version on home turf. Anne Minogue of Ferbane was the recent runner-up in the Leinster Strokeplay in Bagenalstown at the grade meanwhile.
In terms of the provincial breakdown of entries, the entries are 16 for Leinster and seven for Munster. Munster’s entries come from three counties and indeed three clubs at that. Tipperary are represented by three Lakeside women, all part of the team that won the National Inter-Club last year in Elaine Quinn, Josie McCormack and Helen McMorrow while it’s encouraging to see Kerry entries in the Ladies again with Lisa O’Connor (Munster Mixed Foursomes winner last year), Charlotte Blake and Aisling Quirke from Tralee all entered. Margaret O’Donovan of Bruff is the other entry from the southern province in the grade.
Amongst the other entries are Dubliners Christine Mulvey, Irene Finnegan and Catherine Fox (Glenville) along with Marie Dooley (RGSC), Seapoint duo Valerie Barron and Mary Coyne, Kilbeggan’s Pauline Madden and Cloghogue’s Anne Jackson. The top eight after the first 36 holes will go forward for a further 18 holes to decide the eventual winner.
37 players will start out at 11.30am on Saturday morning looking to initially make the Top 10 playoff to decide the title. Proceedings will tee-off in a slightly novel way with the 2011 National Junior Strokeplay Champion at this weekend’s venue, Christina Carroll of Seapoint hitting the first tee-shot in the grade. Her playing partner Noreen Myles of Gaeil Colmcille was the recent runner-up to Bernie Dunne at the Leinster Strokeplay in Bagenalstown.
Dunne (St Bridgets) enters on a rich vein of form of course having both the provincial Strokeplay and Matchplay double at the grade in Leinster so far this year and this is also 15 years since her victory in this competition back in the year 2000. Her fellow Provincial Strokeplay winner in Munster, Catherine Waters of Fermoy, is entered and speaking of Fermoy, last year’s National Junior Strokeplay Champion at the venue Sarah O’Neill (Collins, pictured above) is entered for Saturday’s event. Along with Bernie other former winners of the grade entered include Esther Martin of Ryston (2005), Bridget Shelley of Lakeside (2012) and Carol O’Brien of Gaeil Colmcille (2013).
Some other former National Singles winners entered include former National Junior Strokeplay Champions include Mary Fullam of Shandon (2006), Mary Quinn of Lakeside (2008) along with Ailish Sexton of Fermoy (2012). Betty Cody from Loughlinstown won this grade in the Seniors event last year as did Kathleen Grendon of Rathfeigh back in 2011. Yvonne Carney (Meath) and Frances Ryan (Tipperary) are two County Strokeplay Champions this year entered while the host club have a total of six entries amongst the field namely Marie Tait, Muriel Tobin, Joan McGlue, Teresa Boland, Patsy Quinlan and Nuala O’Gorman. Lucan’s Siobhan McDonnell is another player with good memories of this track having won the Leinster Junior Strokeplay here back in 2009.
The presence of Nicole Burke (Fermoy) and Margaret Forde (Riverdale) amongst the field means that the top three from the respective stagings of the recent provincial competitions are entered (Mary Fullam was third in the Leinsters in Bagenalstown). It will be interested to see if it’s a form player, a previous winner or a new name that comes out on top come the conclusion of proceedings on Saturday evening.
Tomorrow: We preview Sunday’s Senior Championship.