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Olivia Mehaffey secures truly stunning hat-trick at Irish Girls Open

By Martin Kelly

Published 20/04/2015

Rising star: Olivia Mehaffey receives the Irish Girls Open trophy from Roganstown Captain Aine Derham (left) and ILGU President Valerie Hassett
Rising star: Olivia Mehaffey receives the Irish Girls Open trophy from Roganstown Captain Aine Derham (left) and ILGU President Valerie Hassett

Olivia Mehaffey of Royal County Down clinched a hat-trick of Irish Girls Open Championships thanks to a superb birdie on the second play-off hole.

Austria's Isabella Holpfer, overnight leader at the Roganstown, Co Dublin event, was two shots clear going into the final round.

However, two bogeys and a double bogey on the front nine cost the Austrian player her leading position.

Low scores prevailed from the chasing pack as Olivia shot a level par 71 to take the clubhouse lead for a mere moment. Samantha Fuller (England) then made her only birdie of the day on 18, holing a 10-foot putt for a 72 and a place in a sudden death playoff.

After par threes on the ninth, Olivia overshot the long par five 10th in two but chipped dead to inside two feet to secure her birdie four.

The International Team Event was dominated by Sweden (Beatrice Wallin, Linn Grant and Els Lundquist) as they finished on a total of 441, one shot clear of both England and Scotland. The Irish team finished four behind.

Meanwhile, Graeme McDowell finished tied 26th at the RBC Heritage in South Carolina after a disappointing one over 72 in his final round for a seven under total.

The Ulsterman led thanks to a 66 on day one but slipped down the field after following up his second round 69 with a 70.

Jim Furyk defeated Kevin Kisner on the second play-off hole to win the title, collect a cheque for $1million and record a first PGA Tour victory since 2010.

The former US Open champion (44) carded a superb final round eight-under-par 63 which included six birdies on his first nine holes to move ahead of overnight leader Troy Merritt, whose three-shot lead evaporated with a 69.

However, it was not enough to see off Kisner, who also tied at 18 under when he sank a birdie with his final putt.

After levelling the first additional hole with birdies on the 18th, it was Furyk who emerged victorious to claim the tartan jacket when he dropped in his second shot at the par-three 17th from 12ft after Kisner had come up short.

Merrit, who had hit a course-record 61 on Friday, finished third on 16 under, one stroke ahead of Brendon Todd, with defending champion Matt Kuchar one further back.

US Masters champion Jordan Spieth ended tied for 11th at 10 under following a closing round of 70, which included a double bogey on the par-three 14th after his tee shot went into the water.

Former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen was tied seventh after a 67 left the South African on 12 under.

A 70 from England's Luke Donald saw him slip down the field to finish tied 15th at nine under.

Belfast Telegraph

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