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Grant eyes home comforts in Royal County Down bid


Paula Grant
Paula Grant

By Paul Kelly

England's Hannah Screen finished as the leading qualifier for the match play stages of the 116th Women's Amateur Championship at Royal County Down.

Following the second round of stroke play qualifying, the joint overnight leader added a three-under-par 70 yesterday for a seven-under total of 139.

"I'm excited for the match play now. My match play record is pretty good. I'll look to stay patient as this course is hard," said Screen.

Irish hopes of success are still alive after Paula Grant (Lisburn), Anna Foster (Elm Park) and Aine Donegan (Lahinch) all progressed.

"Being the lowest-ranked Irish player, it was a big goal just to make the cut. I played well and hit some nice shots so it was a steady two days," said Grant, who finished on three over par and will meet Teresa Diez Moliner (Spain) in the last 64 at 11.38am today.

"I didn't really get into much trouble which was nice. I'm going to work on some pace putting and holing-out drills this evening, matchplay is a different mindset.

"I thought the conditions weren't that bad today. I'm a member here. I know the course quite well and hopefully the local knowledge can help."

Donegan - who had stumbled to an opening 81 - bounced back to post a four-under 69 which left her on a four-over total. She qualified in 26th position and now faces Clarisse Louis (Belgium) while Foster, who posted rounds of 74-75, lines up against Canadian Noemie Pare.

The cut for the leading 64 players fell at seven over par.

The winner secures spots at this year's AIG Women's British Open at Woburn and the 2019 Evian Championship as well as the 2020 US Women's Open and the 2020 Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship.

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