Grant and Mehaffey keep home hopes alive
Royal County Down's Olivia Mehaffey and Lisburn's Paula Grant carry home hopes into today's quarter-finals of the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship at Portstewart after hot favourite Leona Maguire crashed out.
The 20-year-old from Co Cavan was surprisingly beaten at the last 16 stage by Australian Joanna Charlton three and one.
Leona, 20, said: "I'm disappointed but I was happy with the way I played. It was just that Joanna played better in the closing stages."
The oldest of the quarter-finalists, this is Charlton's third and last appearance at the championship.
"I am going to turn professional and I will be coming back to Europe to play in the LET Qualifying School," said Joanna, who will now play the experienced Swede, Linnea Strom, a five and three winner over Brittany Marchand (Canada).
Mehaffey will play Canadian Maddie Szeryk in this morning's quarter-final. She had a notable two-hole win over Europe's No 3 ranked player, Sweden's Madelene Sagstrom and the pair might very well square up again the week after next in the Vagliano Trophy match being played at Malone.
Grant had a stirring come-from-behind win at the extra hole over Elin Esborn, the Swedish player who led at the end of the first stroke-play qualifying round.
Elin looked to be heading for a place in the last eight when she was one up after four, two up after nine and three ahead after 14.
But Grant stopped the rot and turned the tables twice with wins at 15, 16 and 17. A half at the 18th sent them down the 19th where Grant completed her comeback by winning the holes.
She now plays Charlotte De Corte in today's quarter-final.
Meanwhile Northern Ireland's Stephanie Meadow was struggling to make the cut at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Westchester in New York last night. Starting her second round at three over par, she dropped shots early on and wasn't looking like she would play in the tournament at the weekend.
The same scenario was on the cards for Graeme McDowell at the St Jude Classic in Memphis.