Eleanor rules the World
In August 1978, 11 year old Eleanor Walsh carded 114 for 36 holes at St. Anne's, Cork to win the All Ireland Girls Strokeplay championship. Almost four decades later, Eleanor was celebrating her biggest win to date - the World Ladies Strokeplay championship at Imjelt, Norway, despite the not inconsiderable inconvenience of her clubs going missing in transit!
Eleanor would win the All Ireland Girls Strokeplay championship again in 1982. This time the Fermoy player scored 108 in Athgarvan. By 1988, Eleanor Walsh was Irish individual adult matchplay champion. In the final that year at Dunlops, Eleanor defeated Breda Lonergan (Tipperary Hills) by 4&3. The pair would become firm friends and were travelling companions to Norway for the recent World Strokeplay championship.
For many years, Eleanor concentrated on her hockey career and club Pitch and Putt. She did not contest the major championships. She did, however regularly play in the National Mixed Foursomes and her record in that end of season event is just, awesome! Eleanor won the National Mixed Foursomes with Fermoy colleague Joe Flood in 2002. Eleanor and Joe had twice previously won the Best Gross in this National Mixed Foursomes. Eleanor also twice won the Best Gross in the National Mixed Foursomes with Kieran Kearney (1985 and 1987).
Since her return to top level championship Pitch and Putt, Eleanor has twice been runner-up in the All Ireland Matchplay championship - to Chrissie Byrne (by 5&4) at Claycastle in 2012 and to Geraldine Ward (8&6) at Seapoint last year. She has also helped Cork to three Inter-County championships (2010, 2012 and 2015), an event Cork hadn't won since Eleanor last played in 1993. In all, Eleanor has five Inter-County winning medals in addition to the Juvenile Inter-County pennant she clinched with the Leesiders in 1982.
Eleanor first won the Munster Ladies adult Strokeplay championship in 1983. Her latest win in that event was 34 years later - in May 2017. She is also a multiple Munster Matchplay champion and a regular championship winner in her native Cork.
But arguably, the pinnacle of all Eleanor's success arrived on a July weekend in Norway when rounds of 56, 56, 53 and 55 clinched the ladies title at the III World Strokeplay championship.