Olivia Mehaffey surrendered the Helen Holm Trophy with England’s Olivia Winning snatching Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship victory from her grasp at Troon.
The 18-year-old from Royal County Down went into round three tied for the lead on three-under with Sweden’s Linda Lundqvist, but suffered a nightmare round over Royal Troon’s Old Course yesterday.
Her day began badly as she bogeyed the first two holes but, after recovering with birdies on four and six, another bogey on seven left her one-over at the turn.
But things then only got worse for Mehaffey, as her back nine included another five bogeys and just one birdie to leave her five-over (77) for the round and overall two-over par (218).
The world number nine was pipped to the title by Yorkshire’s Winning, who began round three four shots back on Mehaffey, but three birdies and three bogeys for a level par 72 saw her snatch the title by one stroke as she finished on an overall one-over par (217).
However, Skerries’ Maria Dunne did ensure there were two Irish competitors in the top three as she finished a stroke further back on three-over par (219) in third.
Dunne, a well-established international, carded three birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey in her third round 75.
Those two Irish performances in particular will no doubt have impressed the Great Britain and Ireland selectors — with the Curtis Cup team to face the USA at Dun Laoghaire in June set to be named on Thursday.
Elsewhere, there were top 15 finishes for Jessica Ross (Donaghadee),who finished 11th on eight-over, while Chloe Ryan (Castletroy) and Paula Grant (Lisburn) were 14th on nine-over.
Rachel Taylor (Laytown & Bettystown) was tied 41st, Shannon Burke (Ballinrobe) tied 45th, Sinead Sexton (Lahinch) tied 50th, Aedin Murphy (Carlow) tied 55th and Rachel Thompson (Cork) 58th.
Meanwhile, Mehaffey will now dust herself down as she prepares to defend her Welsh Ladies Open Stroke Play crown at Conwy at the end of this week.
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