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Foster headlines local charge at Amateur Open after first round

 

By Paul Kelly

Elm Park's Anna Foster is the best of the Irish contingent after day one of the Women's Amateur Championship at Royal County Down.

The 17-year-old Dubliner posted a one-over par round of 74 to trail early leaders Angelica Moresco (Italy) and Hannah Screen (England) by five shots.

The highest ranked Irish player in the field, Paula Grant (Lisburn), proved one of the most consistent players as she carded 12 pars in her opening 75.

Foster couldn't have hoped for a better start as she eagled the par five third. Despite five bogeys in her next 11 holes, she rallied to birdie 16 and 18 and finished on one-over.

"I knew anything in or around level par was going to be pretty good. It was nice to give myself that eagle as a cushion early on in the round as I knew I could afford to drop a couple," said Anna.

It was a difficult day on the links for the other Irish contenders. Shannon Burke (Ballinrobe) posted a 76, Mairead Martin (Kanturk) a 78, Sara Byrne (Douglas) and Beth Coulter (Kirkistown Castle) carded rounds of 80 while Aine Donegan (Woodstock) carded an 81.

The 144 competitors play a further round of stroke play qualifying today. The leading 64 players will then advance to the match play stage from Thursday to Saturday. Each match will consist of one round of 18 holes, including the final.

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This week's winner will gain entry to this year's AIG Women's British Open and the 2019 Evian Championship, as well as next year's US Women's Open and the Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship.

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