Victory for McVeigh in US

Danielle McVeigh claimed her maiden victory in US Collegiate golf and steered Texas A&M University to a two-stroke team victory at the 54-hole Donnis Thompson Invitational in Hawaii.

Danielle McVeigh claimed her maiden victory in US Collegiate golf and steered Texas A&M University to a two-stroke team victory at the 54-hole Donnis Thompson Invitational in Hawaii.

The freshman at Texas A&M rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt on the first play-off hole on Wednesday to take medallist honours on Oahu's par-72 Kane'ohe Klipper Golf Course.

McVeigh, from Co. Down, went into the final round five strokes off the pace but closed with a 69, her lowest round as a collegiate golfer.

That put the 19-year-old into a play-off with Gerina Mendoza of the University of Texas-El Paso. Having birdied two of the last three holes of regulation play to finish with a three-round, one-over-par 217 (74, 74, 69), McVeigh was on a hot streak which continued at the first sudden-death hole.

"Danielle has been striking the ball well throughout the season," A&M head coach Jeanne Sutherland said.

"She's been working very hard on her putting and it's been getting better and better. It's great for her to see all the hard work pay off."

Also leading their teams home this week were Donegal's Thomas Kearney, Belfast's Jonny Caldwell, Corkman Niall Turner and Dubliner Dawn-Marie Conaty.

Kearney paced the University of Texas-San Antonio with a two-under par 214 (69, 73, 72) to finish tied for 19th place individually at the Ron Moore Invitational in Goodyear, Arizona.

The UTSA team finished in eighth place, as did Caldwell's University of South Alabama outfit at the Border Olympics tournament in Laredo, Texas.

Walker Cup 2007 panellist Caldwell fired rounds of 74, 72 and a final, three-under 69 to tie for 16th place on 215, nine shots behind the winner.

Turner's Minnesota slumped to a 17th-placed finish of 18 teams at the week's biggest collegiate golf event, the Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational in Georgia, Turner tying for 21st individually with a four-over-par total of 220 (75, 72, 73).

Conaty shot a final-round 71 to leap from 62nd place to a tie for 36th with a 12-over-par score of 228 at the LSU/Cleveland Golf Classic in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in which her University of Memphis team finished 19th.

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