Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow and Englishman Jack Senior were the women’s and men’s winners respectively of the inaugural ISPS Handa World Invitational Men | Women at Galgorm Castle Golf Club, Co. Antrim on Sunday.
Stephanie Meadow held off England’s Charley Hull to win the women’s tournament while Jack Senior defeated his compatriot Matthew Baldwin in a sudden death play-off in the men’s competition.
Galgorm Castle Golf Club witnessed high drama until the final putt was holed as Meadow showed real nerve to earn victory ahead of Hull, securing a one-shot victory, before Senior triumphed with a birdie on the second extra hole.
Meadow carded a level par round of 73, which included back-to-back birdies on the 10th and 11th holes after a double bogey on the ninth, to stay at her third round total of ten under par and finish one shot clear of Hull in second, who put together a four under par round of 69.
The Solheim Cup player stiffed a three-wood approach to six feet, her eagle putt slid past the hole which allowed Meadow to secure victory with a par.
Speaking after her home win, Stephanie Meadow admitted:
“It’s unbelievable to win here really. I’m so excited and honoured as well. I got a pretty bad bounce off the tree at the ninth and went into some pretty nasty stuff and had to take a drop. I still didn’t have a shot to the green. I’ve definitely hit worse shots this week and ended up okay, but that’s just golf. I told myself that and was able to birdie ten and got back rolling it. I think that was really key to not freak out or panic.”
The Ulster golfer continued:
“I hit pretty good shots on ten but then I had a ten-footer for birdie so to see that fall – after having a few on the front nine that didn’t fall – was nice. It definitely helped. I watched a few of the leaderboards out there and I knew a couple of the other girls were close, but not really close enough, but when Charley hit that three-wood to six feet on 18, it was an unreal shot and she’s an unreal player but luckily I was able to hit a nice one in there as well. She didn’t make the putt but it was a great run at me. She definitely gave me a run for my money.”
With the destination of the women’s title decided, Senior and Baldwin returned to the 18th tee after both finishing on 11 under par, as Senior had birdied the 72nd hole to ensure a play-off against his friend.
After both players found the rough from the tee and eventually going down for par, they returned for a second trip down the final hole.
Baldwin took three shots to reach the green before needing three more strokes to eventually go down for bogey, leaving Senior with a six-foot putt for victory which he duly holed.
The victory means Senior moves from 58th to 11th on the Challenge Tour Rankings and in doing so earns a spot in next week’s limited field Rolex Trophy in Geneva.