DUBLIN, IRELAND (23rd June 2009) — Identical twins Lisa and Leona Maguire will take on the cream of the Ladies European Tour’s professionals in the AIB Ladies Irish Open, supported by Fáilte Ireland, from Friday to Sunday.
Along with 21-year-old Danielle McVeigh, the 14-year-old teenagers from Cavan are two of three Irish players on the nine-member Great Britain and Ireland Vagliano Team, who are all playing in the tournament at Portmarnock Hotel and Links, near Dublin, as part of their preparation for next month’s matches in Hamburg.
Lisa won the ‘3’ Irish Ladies Open Strokeplay at Douglas golf club in Cork on Sunday and is also the Irish Ladies Close champion. Leona is the French International U/21 champion and won the Irish Close last year.
The trio, along with eight other amateurs, will join the field which includes all top 40 players on the Ladies European Tour’s Henderson Money List.
Both Maguire sisters have played Portmarnock Links before and when asked their expectations for the week they gave an identical reply.
I’ll just try to play my best,” said Lisa, while Leona added: “I’ll just try to play my best and we’ll see what happens.”
The 11 amateurs, which also include Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow and England’s Hannah Barwood as winner of the Faldo Junior Series, will compete for the inaugural Philomena Garvey Trophy for the leading amateur in the AIB Ladies Irish Open supported by Fáilte Ireland. The Tipperary Crystal Trophy has been introduced by the ILGU to celebrate the achievement of Ireland’s first legendary amateur, who passed away last month.
Tournament Promoter, Roddy Carr, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have the best amateur players in the UK & Ireland and especially the four best Irish players competing against the top professionals. They are all so young and the experience they gain will help them enormously and enhance their chances of getting on the PING Junior Solheim Cup team in Chicago in August. It will also inspire more young girls to take up the game.”
The field will be led by the Australian Open champion Laura Davies from England and the big hitting Swedes Maria Hjorth and Sophie Gustafson, as well as Marianne Skarpnord from Norway, who is Europe’s current number one.