As we close out the year, it’s time to look back on what has been a momentous year for Irish golf.
There were so many highs that mean 2017 promises to be even better. Let’s take a chance to look back and remember some major highlights.
39th Curtis Cup secured on Irish Soil
Great Britain and Ireland won the 39th Curtis Cup match by 11.5 points to 8.5 after a tension-packed final day at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club. Leona Maguire, Olivia Mehaffey and Maria Dunne (Skerries) contributed hugely to the GB&I win over the United States. The action over the three days back in June drew large crowds and despite the club’s new home being under 10 years old, it drew lavish praise for its set up and condition.
First ever Home Internationals Title for Irish Girls
The 2016 Girls Home International Matches proved to be a momentous occasion at Conwy Golf Club, Wales. After an excellent half with England on Day one, the Irish Girls comprehensively defeated Wales on day two and secured the title with a dramatic final day performance that saw them overcome Scotland 5-4 for a famous victory.
Historic Bronze Medal Achievement at Espirito Santo Trophy
The Irish Team of Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell), Olivia Mehaffey (RCDL) and Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) made history at the World Amateur Team Championships in Mexico. Ireland finished in third place on -7. The Republic of Korea secured top spot on -29, while Switzerland finished one shot ahead of Ireland on -8.
Golfs’ Return to the Olympic Games
Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell) and Stephanie Meadow represented Team Ireland at the 2016 Olympic Games. They were joined by Padraig Harrington and Seamus Power and the team was led by Paul McGinley. Maguire finished in a tie for 21st while Meadow finished in 31st position.
Stephanie Meadow secures conditional LPGA status
After the Olympic Games in August, Meadow competed at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, where she finished tied 10th, not far behind some of the best players in the world, including Ariya Jutanugarn, Karrie Webb and Lydia Ko. She followed this with a steady performance at the Manulife LPGA Classic in September 2016. She has also competed regularly on the Ladies European Tour (LET) and most recently finished in tied 14th on -9 at the 2016 Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open, Abu Dhabi. Despite not gaining her card at Q-School, her guaranteed Category 17 status should ensure a large amount of starts in 2017. She will also be eligible for the Symetra Tour.
Leona Maguire continued to dominate Amateur Golf
Maguire retained her position as World Number One for the second consecutive year and in doing so, she:
– Won the Smyth Salver Trophy after finishing the RICOH Women’s British Open as the top-ranked amateur
– Finished tied 21st on golf’s’ return to the Olympic Games
– Helped Ireland secure a bronze medal at the Espirito Santo Trophy
– Secured the European Ladies’ Amateur Golf Ranking Gold Medal and WAGR’s Mark H McCormack Medal for the second consecutive year
Irish Seniors Crowned European Team Champions
Ireland were crowned European Champions at the Senior European Team Championships at Sierra Golf Club, Poland, after overcoming Belgium 3-2 in a nail biting finish at the beginning of September. It was 2 points apiece before rookie Mary Sheehy (Tralee) holed a sizeable putt for the win.