Eleanor Walsh - Victory in trying circumstances

Devastating news reached Eleanor Walsh on the Wednesday before the 2022 Irish Open. Her brother Tim (RIP) had passed away in the UK. The 2017 World Ladies Strokeplay champion was bereft and unsure what to do. Her other brothers, Mike and Tony, encouraged her to make the trip to Tullamore.

"Darren (O'Connell, the tireless event organiser) left my name in. He said it was my decision. I only went up (to Tullamore) to get out of Fermoy (her home town)," recalls Eleanor.

"I played 36 holes to get out of there. Darren and Victor were very supportive," says Eleanor of Saturday' play, in which she scored successive 55s in the company of outgoing FIPPA President Victor Moscatel and Kildare Inter-County star Darren Keogh. Her 110 overnight total left the former two-time Irish Girls champion three adrift of fellow Irish player Chrissie Sheedy and two ahead of Breda White (Ireland).

"I don't remember too much about the game with Chrissie (Sheedy, long standing convivial rival on the course) and Breda (White, her forever friend and travelling companion)," is Eleanor's summary of a superb Sunday 48, which saw the Cork lady add the 2022 Irish Ladies Open title to her 1988 National Matchplay success. "I had two hops (from teeshots) up to a foot each time, so somebody must have been looking out for me," says Eleanor of that six under par effort (bettered by just two players in the entire field in that final round), which saw her win by six strokes.

Eleanor is grateful for all the support she received in and around Tullamore, before, during and after the Irish Open. "Everyone was brilliant, and I thanked everyone in my speech."

"Tim worked for AC Atkins in England," says Eleanor of her late sibling. "He travelled the world and worked on projects in Nairobi and Riyadh."

We extend sincere condolences to Eleanor and her entire family on their sad loss.