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Friday, July 18, 2008

Begorrah! Lisa beats
twin sister Leona in
Irish girls' final

It could only happen in Ireland - the land of leprechauns and fairy tales!
On May 21, talented and almost identical 13-year-old twin sisters Leona and Lisa Maguire from the Slieve Russell club contested the final of the Irish WOMEN'S amateur golf championship at Westport. Leona won by 3 and 2. Pictured above (I think) Leona on left, Lisa on right.
Today, at Mullingar Golf Club, the Maguire twins met each other in the final of the Lancome Irish GIRLS' championship - and Lisa won this time by 4 and 3.
Mind you, only their mother can tell her daughters apart and they have a reputation for pretending that Leona is Lisa and vice versa in public. So maybe it was Leona that won again after all! Only kidding.
The Maguire twins are being tipped, even by non-Irish pundits, to be contenders for GB&I team places in the next Curtis Cup match, that's not at Nairn in 2012 but at Essex Country Club, Massachusetts in 2010 when they will be 15, one year younger than when Carly Booth made her debut in May-June as the youngest-ever GB&I Curtis Cup team player.
This year's GB&I team at the Old Course, St Andrews had an Irish captain, Mary McKenna, but not a single Irish player in the team of eight - and looked what happened to them at the hands/clubs of the Americans.
Tayside golfing fans - and the rest of Scotland for that matter if they want to make the journey -will get a chance to see for themselves how good the Maguire girls are when the Girls' home internationals are played at Panmure Golf Club, Carnoustie from August 5 to 7.
The Irish team, which also includes United States-based Stephanie Meadow, another great prospect, by the way, announced today, is:
Victoria Bradshaw (Bangor).
Sarah Cunningham (Ennis).
Patrice Delaney (Birr).
Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell).
Lisa Maguire (Slieve Russell).
Stephanie Meadow (Royal Portrush).
Emma O'Driscoll (Ballybunion).
Sarah Louise Winter (Camalea).
Sarah Crowe (Tipperary), Tara Gribben (Warrenpoint), Sarah Helly (Enniscrone).
Team captain - Sinead Keane (The Curragh).

+The Scotland girls team for the home internationals will be named on Monday. Watch this space!

Here is the report on the Lancome Irish girls' championship from the ILGU website:

Ireland's golf history-making twins

Following her sister Leona's success in the (Irish) Women's Championship in Westport, Lisa triumphed over her sister to take the (Irish) Girls Championship in Mullingar Golf Club.
It is the first time in the history of Irish Golf that the Irish champions of both the Women's and Girls' events come from the same family, let alone twin sisters.

Lisa was fortunate to overcome Emma O'Driscoll at the 19th in her semi-final match while Leona had a more comfortable semi-final, playing top-class golf to triumph over Sarah Crowe.

Lisa took early advantage in the match against her sister, going one up with a par on the second hole. Lisa went on go two up with a birdie at the 10th. They both birdied the 12th before Lisa birdied the 14th to increase her lead to three holes. She then secured the match on the 15th green. Results:

ROUND 1 - Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell) bt Victoria Morris (Limerick) 8 and 6; Erin Connolly (Co Armagh) bt Laura Grant (Lisburn) 2 and 1; Sarah Murray (Co Louth) bt Amy Gaynor (Co Sligo) 1 hole; Victoria Bradshaw (Bangor) bt Sarah Helly (Enniscrone) 3 and 2; Sarah Crowe (Tipperary) bt Rachel Chambers (Dunfanaghy) 4 and 3; Bebhinne Jennings (Navan) bt Niamh O'Connor (Naas/Worplesdon) 2 holes; Ciara Pender (Ennis) bt Sarah Cunningham (Ennis) 5 and 4; Caroline Murphy (Grange) bt Agnes Doherty (Ballyliffin) 4 and 2; Emma O'Driscoll (Ballybunion) bt Jessica Boal (Larne) 5 and 3; Jill Pierse (Tipperary) bt Hannah O'Brien (Lahinch) 4 and 3; Tara Gribben (Warrenpoint) bt Edel Coyne (Youghal) 6 and 5; Amy Chambers (Dunfanaghy) bt Caoimhe Quinn (Dungannon) 2 and 1; Julie Coyne (Youghal) bt Laura McCarthy (Muskerry) 2 holes; Sarah Louise Winter (Carnalea) bt Carla Reynolds (Seapoint) 4 and 3; Julie O'Gara (Roscommon) bt Ciara Sharkey (Enniscorthy) 1 hole; Lisa Maguire (Slieve Russell) bt Terri Byrne (Coollattin) 8 and 6.
ROUND 2 - Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell) bt Erin Connolly (Co. Armagh) 6 and 5; Victoria Bradshaw (Bangor) bt Sarah Murray (Co Louth) on 20th; Sarah Crowe (Tipperary) bt Bebhinne Jennings (Navan) 3 and 1; Ciara Pender (Ennis) bt Caroline Murphy (Grange) on 20th; Emma O'Driscoll (Ballybunion) bt Jill Pierse (Tipperary) 4 and 3; Tara Gribben (Warrenpoint) bt Amy Chambers (Dunfanaghy) 2 holes; Julie Coyne (Youghal) bt Sarah Louise Winter (Carnalea) 5 and 4; Lisa Maguire (Slieve Russell) bt Julie O'Gara (Roscommon) 7 and 6.
QUARTER-FINALS - Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell) bt Victoria Bradshaw (Bangor) 3 and 2; Sarah Crowe (Tipperary) bt Ciara Pender (Ennis) 5 and 4; Emma O'Driscoll (Ballybunion) bt Tara Gribben (Warrenpoint) 2 and 1; Lisa Maguire (Slieve Russell) bt Julie Coyne (Youghal) 6 and 5.
SEMI-FINALS - Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell) bt Sarah Crowe (Tipperary) 8 and 6; Lisa Maguire (Slieve Russell) bt Emma O'Driscoll (Ballybunion) on 19th.
FINAL - Lisa Maguire (Slieve Russell) bt Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell) 4 and 3.