OliviaMehaffeyJul12Its All Happening At The Lough!

Ariana Coyles from Elm Park leads by two strokes after day one of the sixth Faldo Series Ireland Championship.17-year-old Coyles carded a superb round of 70 in extremely tough conditions to lead the overall championship and the Girls Under-21 division going into todays round.

Two shots behind Coyles is former finalist Olivia Mehaffey (R.C.D. Ladies) who leads the Girls Under-16 age category. Karl McCormack (Boys Under-18) of Portarlington, Ross McKeever (Castle) and Marc Norton (Belvoir) are a further shot back. Norton and McKeever jointly lead the Boys’ Under-16. The final age-category – Boys Under-21 is led by Kieran Lynch (Skibbereen) who shot a first round 76.

[Photo: Olivia Mahaffey By Pat Cashman courtesy ILGU]

Golfers aged 12 to 21 are competing over two rounds on the Faldo Course at Lough Erne Resort for the 2013 Ireland Championship.  The field is divided into five age-groups – three for boys and two for girls – and the winners of each division will join Sir Nick Faldo at the season-ending 17th Faldo Series Grand Final, a 54-hole World Amateur Golf Ranking event.

Supported by The R&A, ISPS Handa and the European Tour, the 2013 Faldo Series Europe schedule features a record 20 tournaments in 14 countries including six in England plus others in Ireland, Abu Dhabi, Chile, the Czech Republic, Scotland, Austria, Wales, Brazil, Italy, The Netherlands, Germany, Slovakia and Greece.

Established in 1996, 40 Faldo Series tournaments now take place in 30 countries worldwide with more than 7,000 golfers participating each year.  Past winners include Major Champions Rory McIlroy and Yani Tseng.

In September 2013, Faldo will begin taking students at a full-time residential academy for education and golf development in America.  The first ever Faldo Series Academy in Casa Grande, Arizona is also home to the Faldo Series USA and marks the next significant step in the programme’s history.

Leading first round scores: Boys’ Under-21: 76 – Kieran Lynch (Skibbereen); 78 – Declan Reidy (County Sligo), Jonathan Greer (Green Island).  Boys’ Under-18: 73 – Karl McCormack (Portarlington); 74 – David Byrne (Greystones); 75 Jonathan Doherty (Ballina). Boys’ Under-16: 73 – Ross McKeever (Castle), Marc Norton (Belvoir); 77 – Ryan Corry (Clandeboye).  Girls’ Under-21: 70 – Ariana Coyles (Elm Park); 77 – Mary Doyle (Heath).  Girls’ Under-16: 72 – Olivia Mehaffey (R.C.D Ladies); 89 – Annabel Wilson (Lurgan).