Kirkistown Castle’s Beth Coulter made history by becoming the first person to hold both the Irish Womens’ and Girls’ Close Championships simultaneously after winning an incredible all-Ulster Girls’ final at Kilkeel.
The 18-year-old came from behind against Knock’s Katie Poots in the decider to take it to extra holes and then won the title with an eagle on the second play-off hole. It was her third Girls’ trophy in a row.
Poots had led early in the match, but a run that saw Coulter win three of four holes took her one-up, only for the Knock teen to bring it back and send it to extra holes, where Coulter held her nerve to become the first to win back-to-back-to-back titles.
“I suppose last year when I won it in Tramore, dad looked at the trophy and said that nobody had ever won it three times in-a- row, so that was a big goal at the start of this year to come back and to win it,” said Coulter.
“It’s just about taking one match at a time. You can’t underestimate anyone. They’re going out with no fear and all the pressure’s on me. It’s just about getting up and staying up, and I was delighted to get through in the end.”
However, there was disappointment for Malone’s Fionn Dobbin in the Irish Boys’ Close at the same venue as he was beaten 2&1 in the semi-finals by Athlone’s Charlie Kelly, who went on to lose to Ballinasloe’s Tom Cafferky in the final.
In Thurles, there was also devastation for Royal Portrush’s Laura Webb, who was beaten 4&3 in the final of the Irish Senior Women’s Close by Co Louth’s Deirdre Smith.
Webb had beaten Dooks’ Tracy Eakin on the first play-off hole of their semi-final to reach the decider, but found Smith too good and had to settle for runner-up.
Meanwhile, Royal Belfast’s Finlay Eager and Belvoir Park’s Eoin Burrows claimed victory at the Ulster Under-16 and Under-14 Close Championships, both at Edenmore, respectively.