On-form Hannah McCook wins again

Hannah McCook with her trophy after winning at County Louth.
Hannah McCook with her trophy after winning at County Louth.
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Seven days after winning the Welsh equivalent, Grantown-on-Spey’s Hannah McCook completed a notable double by also claiming the Irish Women’s Open Stroke-Play Championship at County Louth.

As had been the case the previous weekend at Aberdovey, the 24-year-old came out on top against players set to be part of Great Britain & Ireland’s Curtis Cup defence at Quaker Ridge outside New York next month.

McCook went into the final round in Ireland with a one-shot lead, having followed an opening 81 in tough conditions with a second-round 69 that included an eagle and six birdies. Helped by birdies at the first and sixth, she was two ahead at the turn in the final round and closed with a 73 for a one-over-par 223 total, winning by two shots from Romy Meekers of the Netherlands.

“This is very weird – I’m not sure what’s happening!” McCook told www.golfnet.ie. “To have won one was amazing but to now have two, wow. I felt a lot more comfortable out there today, it was a different way to win having done it in a play-off last week. So, once I got off to a fast start and Romy struggled a small bit, I just kept trying to make pars and not do anything too silly.”

McCook’s two triumphs have come hot on the heels of Aboyne’s Shannon McWilliam being selected for the Curtis Cup, as well as Hannah Darling of Broomieknowe winning the inaugural Girls Under-16 Championship. “I’ve won a couple of Uni events,” added the Stirling graduate, “but this is the first time I have found some form in an International sense. At the beginning of the year my goal was to win but to have done so twice in a row is just amazing. Last week I was in tears when I won but this week I am just in shock!”

In the professional ranks, Swede Joakim Lagergren beat Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera in a play-off to claim his maiden European Tour victory in the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open. The 26-year-old birdied the first extra hole at Verdura Golf Club after he and Lorenzo-Vera, the overnight leader, had finished tied on 16-under.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment my whole career,” said Lagergren, who recorded four birdies and a solitary bogey in a closing 68. “I’m so relieved and I’m so happy at the moment, I can’t describe it in words. I’ve just been fighting so hard to get to here, it’s just awesome.

“When you’re just missing out a few times you really want to get that first win and it feels like you really need to get over that first step to then really continue and get more and more. This is a big step for me.”

On the Challenge Tour, Ewen Ferguson chalked up his second top-ten finish in three events by claiming a share of eighth spot behind Australian winner Dimitrios Papadatos in the Open De Portugal at Morgado Golf Resort. The Scot’s effort secured a spot in final qualifying for this year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Elsewhere, overnight leader Chris Robb ended up second in the Pro Golf Tour’s Extec Trophy in the Czech Republic after Frenchman Richard Jouven birdied two of the last three holes.