Annabel Wilson is enjoying a truly remarkable summer of golfing success.
The 13-year-old Lurgan golfer followed up recent victories in the Ulster and Leinster Girls championships by winning the Irish Girls Championship, beating Irish Women’s Amateur Close champion Mary Doyle (The Heath) by 4&3 in the final at Shannon.
Wilson’s progress has caught many people be surprise, with coach Peter Martin acknowledging that she has exceeded expectations.
“When Annabel first came to see me in 2012 she was playing off 23, by the end of 2013 she was down to five and now her handicap os down to three,” said the Colin Park professional.
“We set some goals at the start of this year with ambitions to get into a semi-final or two. I think we might have to reassess some of those goals now.
“As a player Annabel is a wonderful ball-striker but aside from that she is already showing high levels of application and dedication.”
Doyle beat Gemma McCarthy (Clonmel) on 19th in her semi-final as Wilson defeated Rachel Taylor (Laytown and Bettystown) on the 20th.
In the final Wilson took an early lead with a birdie at the first and never surrendered the initiative.
She won the fifth with a par to go two up but immediately handed a hole back to Doyle on the sixth.
However the youngster, four years Doyle’s junior, won the seventh and ninth to turn for home with a three hole lead.
Annabel went four ahead at the 11th, lost the 12th but won the 13th with another par and closed out the match with pars at the 14th and 15th.
“Nothing seems to be phasing her at the minute,” added Peter.
“She has been taking on and beating established Irish internationals, the likes of Julie McCarthy (Forrest Little) and Mary Doyle (The Heath).”
In the Plate Final, Meadhbh Doyle (Portarlington) beat holder Caitriona Griffin (Killarney) in a gripping decider with Caitriona coming back from three down to tie the match after18, but Meadhbh managed to secure the win on the first tie hole.
Annabel’s performances have earned her a place on the Irish team to play in the Home Internationals which will be held at Donabate, near Dublin, August 6-8.
The team; Ciara Casey (Hermitage), Mary Doyle (The Heath), Mairead Martin (Killarney), Julie McCarthy (Forrest Little), Niamh McSherry (Lurgan), Olivia Mehaffey (RCDL), Chloe Weir (Shandon Park), Annabel Wilson (Lurgan)
Irish Girls Close Championship
Final Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) beat Mary Doyle (The Heath) 4&3 Semi Finals Mary Doyle (The Heath) beat Gemma McCarthy (Clonmel) on 19th; Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) beat Rachel Taylor (Laytown & Bettystown) on 20th
Plate Final Final Meadhbh Doyle (Portarlington) beat Caitriona Griffin (Killarney on 19th Semi Final Alice Hutchinson (St. Anne’s) lost to Caitriona Griffin (Killarney) 2&1; Meadhbh Doyle (Portarlington) beat Elisa Corcoran (Grange) 6&5