Lurgan golfer Annabel Wilson begins the defence of her Irish Girls Close Championship title today (Wednesday) at Galway Bay Golf Club.
Since her win last year, Annabel has been capped for Ireland and Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I). She has played for Ireland at Home International level and represented GB&I at the Junior Vagliano Matches at Malone Golf Club last month.
Wilson faces a difficult battle to retain the title as Irish teammates Niamh McSherry, also from Lurgan, Ciara Casey (Hermitage), Valerie Clancy (Killarney), Julie McCarthy (Forrest Little) and Mairead Martin (Killarney) will also be looking to secure a win this week.
Last week both Niamh and Annabel represented Ireland at the Girls European Team Championship in Kaskada, Czech Republic.
On day one of qualifying Annabel shot a great score of level par and Niamh shot one over 74. The conditions were tough as the girls played in 37 degrees for five hours. Day two saw Niamh shot 76 and Annabel 78. In the individual standings Niamh’s combined total score of 150 (4 over) was good enough for 23rd place while Annabel finished 27th on 5 over par from a starting field of 120 competitors.
In the team event Ireland did not perform as well as they would have liked and finished 11th overall after the stroke play. That left them in Flight B which now turned to match-play with the format 1 x foursomes and 4 x singles matches. Ireland faced Finland first and unfortunately failed to win a match with Niamh losing on the 18th and Annabel going down 2&1.
Better things were to come against Scotland the next day when Niamh paired with Valerie Clancy and they lead the team to a resounding victory winning all but one match. Against Belgium on the last day things were tighter but Niamh and Annabel did their part again with both winning points in their matches to win 3-2 overall and secure 13th place in the final standings which was two places better than last year.