Eighteen-year-old Máiréad Martin from Kanturk Golf Club is a Leaving Cert student at Scoil Mhuire in Kanturk and on Saturday she took a rare break from her studies and headed to the beautiful Old Course in Lahinch.
The +2 handicapper completed two impressive rounds of golf, going on to claim the Scratch Trophy.
She got off to a great start shooting 67 in the morning, followed by a round of 71 in the afternoon.
This left her 10-under-par, and a total of 138. She finished five shots clear of Louth’s Deirdre Smith.
“I played a few holes in Lahinch the day before and I felt I was hitting the ball well,” she said yesterday.
“I didn’t put myself under too much pressure as I am studying for my Leaving Cert at the moment and I am not playing too much golf. I went out to enjoy it.
“I had eight birdies in my first round and I bogeyed the last. Then, in my second round I had five birdies and two bogeys. The conditions were perfect for golf on Saturday. There was a bit of a breeze down there but usually in links golf there is wind to contend with. It was very pleasant.”
The talented young golfer who is a member of Ballybunion and Killarney as well, is quickly making a name for herself.
She has represented her country at various underage competitions and a growing list of prestigious honours include winning the Home Internationals, the Irish Girls’ Close Championship and the Leinster Ladies Championship. She was also the leading qualifier at the Irish Women’s Close championship in Mullingar.
She started playing golf seven years ago at the age of 11 in Killarney Golf Club. Her career has been on the rise ever since. Currently, and in spite of her school workload, she still finds a way to get the most out of her practising time.
“I try to get out for one or two hours every day, either at the net at home or going to the gym.”
Later this summer the teenager will take up the opportunity of moving Stateside having received a scholarship from the University of Louisville in Kentucky.
“I will be going out there in the second week in August and I can’t wait to start. I want to continue to play good golf and I want to get my degree at the same time.”