P & K made top women golfers welcome and it was a great week!

Friday, 23 June 2017

By Philip Irwin
in Local People

The members of Pyle Kenfig Golf Club are basking in the glory of a highly-successful British Ladies Amateur open Golf Championships, which concluded last weekend, writes Philip Irwin.

In a week when some very high quality golf was played, it culminated on Saturday afternoon (June 17) when Ireland’s Leona Maquire (the current world number one amateur) beat Spain’s Ainhoa Olarra 3/2 in the 18-hole final.

It was an exceptionally good final, with both girls hitting the ball long and straight around the demanding links course.

For instance, into a stiff breeze, both girls were on the long 11th hole in two.

Although both missed the occasional green in regulation by coming up slightly short, or running just through the green, only three of the 32 holes played were actually missed by the talented duo.

Maquire drove through the fairway on the dog-leg 13th, and her effort out of the rough came up short and left of the target, while Olarra hit into a greenside bunker on the par three 12th.

The only other ‘errant’ hole was again by the Spaniard, who hit a straight drive into a fairway bunker on the par five fifth from the tee. She played out safely and then hit a superb third with a three wood just right of the green.

From there she chipped stone dead but lost the hole to Maquire’s birdie four. That was just one example of a high quality game.

The result, in the end, was settled because Miss Olarra had a disappointing afternoon on the greens – failing to get the pace right and then missing a few vital sort putts.

The Champion will receive a full exemption to the Ricoh Women’s British Open and US Women’s Open in the current year provided she does not turn professional.

With many of these young woman, it is only a matter of time before they join the professional ranks, so remember their names!

Also worth noting for the future are Paula Grant, of Lisburn, Northern ireland, who was the lowest qualifier for the event, and Linn Grant of Sweden (her father is Scottish, hence the surname) who scored the lowest round – a course record 65 that may stand for some time.

Pyle and Kenfig GC held a barbecue to welcome the players before the tournament started, and Porthcawl Male Choir were invited to give the golfers – who included 24 nationalities – a traditional Welsh greeting.

Conducted by musical director Mair Jones, and Accompanied by Richard Davis, the choir offered a rousing selection of Welsh choral pieces mixed with popular songs.

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