Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Sara Byrne (17) wins Irish women's close championship
Sara Byrne is the 2018 Irish women’s amateur close champion. The 17-year-old Junior Vagliano player overcame Beth Coulter (Kirkistown Castle), Lucy Simpson (Masserene), Molly Dowling (Lucan), Sarah Cunningham (Ennis) and finally Louise Coffey (Malone) on her way to victory at Enniscrone Golf Club.
Coffey birdied the third to go one up. Sara quickly bounced back by winning the fifth, sixth and seventh for a two-hole advantage.  
Another couple of holes won at the turn and by then Byrne had her sights firmly set on the trophy. A birdie on the par 5 15th was responded to by a birdie from Louise on the 16th but a par on the 17th was enough for a 2 and 1 victory for the Cork teenager
“I stayed quite calm out there, I think that was the main thing. The weather was pretty crappy so I just took my time getting my hands and the clubs dry and made sure I was feeling comfortable over the ball. I was level par for 16 holes, with one little blip, so I am super happy with that in the conditions.
“This is just amazing, I knew I could do it. When Louise won the third I knew that it was better to be up at the end of the match than at the start. I knew that a one hole difference was nothing so I stayed patient.”A definite highlight of her career, Byrne now heads back to Douglas where a celebration awaits.
“This is definitely my number one achievement to date. On the final few holes I got a bit nervous but I told myself that I had worked too hard to give this one away. This brings my golf career up a step and any event now I play in I can tell myself that I can win because I am Irish champion!”
Joining names such as Paula Grant, Olivia Mehaffey and Leona Maguire, Sara can look forward to a busy summer of golf with boosted confidence, no doubt a strong asset to the Irish teams in their bids internationally also.
+Picture caption: Sara Byrne and her dad celebrate on the 17th green.
Sara Byrne b(Douglas) bt Sarah Cunningham (Ennis) 2 and 1.
Louise Coffey (Malone) bt Meadhbh Doyle (Portarlington) 2 and 1Final:
Byrne bt Coffey 2 and 1



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