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Hegarty makes full Irish debut  16.09.08

Disappointment for Ireland at Home Internationals

by Simon McGeady, Inishowen Independent

IRELAND'S challenge at the 2008 Women’s Home International golf tournament at the Wrexham Golf Club in Wales came to a disappointing conclusion on Friday when the Irish team, including Stroove golfer Gemma Hegarty, lost out to Scotland by six and a half points to two and a half.
A win over the Scots, coupled with an English win against Wales on the final day would have given the Irish the title, but it was not to be.
Ireland made a great start to the competition on Wednesday, defeating England five and a half to two and a half. However, defeats to eventual winners Wales and then Scotland meant that the Irish girls had to be content with fourth place.
Hegarty, who was earning her first full cap made the perfect start to the competition on Wednesday, winning her singles match with Rachel Jennings of England 5&3. She also teamed up with Gillian O’Leary for a 4&3 defeat to English pair Edwards and Parker.
Against Wales, Hegarty’s 
Gemma Hegarty
singles match did not quite go her way and she lost 2&1 to Tara Davies. There was better news in the foursomes as Hegarty, partnering Aedin Murphy this time, halved their match with Boulden and Loucks.
The same paring also halved their final foursomes match of the tournament, against Scotland on Sunday, but Hegarty was unable to get the better of Emma Ogilvy in her final singles match, the Scottish lady winning 5&4.
Speaking to the Inishowen Independent following the tournament, the Greencastle Golf Club star said she was pleased with her overall performance in Wrexham.
“I was happy with my game, but a little disappointed with how I played against Scotland on Friday. I was exhausted at that stage because I’d flown straight from Turkey to Manchester,” said Hegarty who missed the final round of the Women’s Turkish Amateur Open to line up for Ireland at the Wrexham Golf Club. Two tournaments in a week eventually took its toll on her game, she admitted.
“Whilst in Turkey I got the call up for the International team as one of the girls on it decided to turn pro and wasn't available. I was lying in 10th place in the Turkish Championship but had to miss the final round to fly from there to Manchester to meet up with the team.
“All I wanted was to get playing at least one match but as it turned out I got to play in all of the matches so it was a dream come true,” said the Ulster player.
The highlight of Gemma’s week was halving a foursomes match against Breanne Loucks, the current Irish Strokeplay champion.
“Wrexham is her home course and she is turning pro in next couple of weeks. We birdied 17 to go 1 up but they birdied 18 to halve the match.”
Gemma, who has represented her country on three occasions at junior level, would like to earn more senior caps but is unsure if she will be able to play in the next home international series because she is getting married next summer and will be playing little competitive golf in the run up to her nuptials.
“Overall it was a brilliant experience and an honour to play for my country - which has been one of my life's ambitions.”
Gemma’s participation in Wreham capped a memorable few weeks. Prior to the Turkey tournament she was in the Royal Portrush Senior Cup team that won the All Ireland at Galway Golf Club.
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