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Annabel returns to fray after focusing on studies

Lurgan Golf Club’s Annabel Wilson
Lurgan Golf Club’s Annabel Wilson

By Paul Kelly

Now that her exams are finally done and dusted, Annabel Wilson returns to competitive action this week in the Irish Women's Close Championship at Woodbrook GC (June 20-23).

In recent months the talented Lurgan GC teenager has focused on her A-levels and put golf on the back burner in her quest to nail down a golf scholarship at UCLA.

In doing so she has missed a number of prestigious events including the Women's Amateur Championship at Royal County Down which was won by England's Emily Toy on Saturday.

The 21-year-old Toy, ranked 450 in the world, defeated New Zealander Amelia Garvey by one hole in the dramatic 18-hole final over the renowned Newcastle links.

"It's amazing to win. I played solidly all week. I stayed in the moment in the final and handled my nerves," said a delighted and relieved Toy.

"I've been hunting a win down and been playing quite nicely this year so to do it here is amazing."

The Irish duo of Anna Foster (Elm Park) and Paula Grant (Lisburn), who both lost out in the second round at RCD are scheduled to play this week at Woodbrook as is Clandeboye's Jessica Ross.

The 24-year-old is trying to juggle a career as a chemical engineer with playing top-flight amateur golf but heads into the event having won the Ulster Strokeplay title last month.

"I'm obviously not getting to play and practice as much as I would like but I'm living close to Carton House (outside Maynooth) and I've joined there which means I can use their practice facilities in the evenings," said Ross, who was denied a place in the field at Newcastle because of her world ranking.

"At the time the entry list closed I was ranked somewhere around the 700s and a week later I was down in the 300s.

"I was the first reserve - it was very frustrating."

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