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Home favourite Grant edged out by teen sensation Leth-Nissen

 

Narrow defeat: Paula Grant reached the last 32 before bowing out
Narrow defeat: Paula Grant reached the last 32 before bowing out

By Paul Kelly

Irish interest in the Women's Amateur Championship at Royal County Down came to an end yesterday as Aine Donegan, Anna Foster and Paula Grant all bowed out.

Grant (Lisburn GC) had solidly beaten Spaniard Teresa Diez Moliner 4&3 in the last 64 yesterday morning but then lost 2&1 at the hands of 14-year-old Amalie Leth-Nissen (Denmark), the youngest player in the field.

Elm Park's Foster, having beaten Canadian Noemie Pare 2&1 in the morning, was turned over by Zhen Bontan, the two-time Netherlands women's champion.

"It was harder in the afternoon in the wind than the morning," said Bontan.

"I got ahead early on against Anna, which was important in such a tight match, and managed to hold on.

"This is the furthest I've ever been in the championship."

Donegan (Lahinch), who originally qualified for the event from the reserve list, overcame Belgian Clarisse Louis in the opening round.

Donegan then came up against Beatrice Wallin (Sweden) in the afternoon, losing out on the 15th green.

The leading qualifier, Hannah Screen, also bowed out yesterday, beaten by English team-mate Euphemie Rhodes, who sealed a place in the last-16.

Rhodes had to change her flight plans home as she looks forward to meeting Alessandra Fanali this morning.

"I'm really happy as it wasn't easy against Hannah," said the 17-year-old.

"She is one of my best mates at England Golf so it was quite hard.

"I was two down after two holes but then won five holes in a row. I lost my swing a bit in the middle of the round and started missing shots. But my putter was working really well and I holed a few putts before getting my irons back towards the flags.

"It would mean the world to win the championship but I can't think that far ahead.

"I'm hitting the ball really well so hopefully (it) can be another good day."

During yesterday morning's last-64 ties other high ranked players also lost out.

Defending champion Leonie Harm exited after a 5&4 defeat to Linn Grant, the leading player left in the field at 25th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

Alessia Nobilio, the top-ranked player at the start of the championship, also lost out, at the first extra hole to Maria Herraez Galvez.

Fiona Liddell secured a 2&1 win over the reigning Girls Amateur champion Emma Spitz.

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