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Stunning Spanish win for Ulster starlet Lisa Maguire

By Brian Keogh

Teenage star Lisa Maguire was celebrating last night after being crowned Spanish Ladies Open Amateur Champion in Cadiz.

Teenage kicks: Sixteen-year-old Lisa Maguire, from Slieve Russell, won the Spanish Ladies Amateur Open Championship yesterday when she recorded a victory over French girl Emilie Alonso

The 16-year-old Curtis Cup sensation from Slieve Russell lifted the title over the Sherry course at Jerez with a tense last green victory in the 18-hole final over French girl Emilie Alonso.

In winning Lisa gained revenge on behalf of her twin sister Leona,the Portuguese Amateur Open Champion, who had been beaten by Alonso in the quarter-finals.

“I am absolutely thrilled. It was a terrific match and I had really had to hold my nerve,”said Lisa.

There was never more than one hole between the two finalists and Lisa did not take the lead until the 361-metre 15th on which she got a birdie three.

Once she got in front there was no looking back for Lisa.

Alonso had been one up with five to play, but the Irish teenager won the 14th — where Alonso got into all sorts of trouble and conceded — and the 15th to grab the initiative.

She finished with three halves in par to become champion.

In the quarter-finals on Saturday Lisa edged out England's Holly Clyburn at the 21st, having never been ahead until that third extra hole.

The semi-final was much easier, Lisa overwhelming Antonia Scherer of Germany by 5&3 after being two up at the turn.

Leona had hoped to make it a Maguire v Maguire contest in the final, but she went down 6&4 to Alonso in the last eight.

Meanwhile Graeme McDowell had some relative success yesterday when he equalled the course record at the Honda Classic at the Pebble Beach Club in Florida.

He became the second player in three days to shoot a six-under-par 64 after South African Rory Sabbatini preceded him on Friday.

McDowell’s stunning round moved him up the leaderboard from 30th to joint fifth on two under, but dropped down as the later starters eventually overtook him.

McDowell, who sank a 35-footer at the short 17th and was on in two at the last, said: “It was a very different golf course today.

“The wind had switched and the 'Bear Trap' was a lot more civilised.”

Elsewhere on the golf scene, Laurie Canter won the Spanish Men's Open Championship at El Prat in Barcelona.

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