Dunne deal in Curtis Cup

by Gazette Reporter
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SKERRIES’ Maria Dunne has defied the odds to help the Great Britain & Ireland team secure a dramatic 11.5 – 8.5 victory over America in the 39th Curtis Cup at the Dun Laoghaire Golf Club.
The Curtis Cup is the biggest competition in female amateur golf and Dunne set participation in the event as a realistic goal two years ago when she finished as runner-up in the South American amateur championship – an incredible feat considering she works full-time while also raising a family.
Dunne’s inclusion in the squad was a pleasant surprise for many people but GB & I captain Elaine Farquharson-Black had no qualms about throwing her straight into foursomes action on day one.
Dunne, the oldest player on either team, and her English partner Meghan Maclaren lost their Friday match-up but the teams still ended the first day tied at 3-3.
Saturday became a much brighter day for the duo after they claimed two victories, one in fourball and one in foursomes, to help GB & I to a 5-1 win on the day.
America rallied to win Sunday’s singles event but it wasn’t enough to stop GB & I securing victory before Dunne took to the green to complete the tournament – a narrow loss to Mariel Galdiano from Hawaii.
Dunne has always been a consistent golfer but something changed a few years back when her talents reached a new height.
She credits coach Roger Yates for instilling her with the belief she was good enough.
“I had a chat with Roger about five years ago regarding what I wanted to achieve long term.
“He asked me if I was willing to work hard enough and I said yes so it was just forward thinking from there.”
It was initially feared that Dunne would have to quit golf at a young age after years of playing in goal for Gaelic football and soccer teams left her with bad sciatic pain in her back.
This had her contemplating her future in 2008 but a mixture of determination, as well as regular gym and physio work got her back into a condition were she could compete once more.
Dunne’s dedication to the sport she loves is seen as an inspiration to many young players and whatever the future brings, there is no denying that she will continue to pave the way for women in golf.
Her inclusion in the Curtis Cup brought great joy to many in Irish golf and the victory proved to be the icing on a very nice cake.

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