Mixed emotions - but O'Riordan and Gray have reasons to be cheerful

Mixed emotions - but O'Riordan and Gray have reasons to be cheerful

31/08/2022

Relief and joy tempered with an injection of frustration described the feelings of Abigail O’Riordan and Ali Gray after the final OCEANTEE WPGA Series event of the season at Mendip Spring.

Both had cause to celebrate. Both had cause to ponder what might have been.

O’Riordan, a PGA trainee at Royal Norwich Golf Club, is £1,000 better off after winning the OCEANTEE WPGA Series Order of Merit.

The downside, however, is her trainee status makes her ineligible to qualify for the Women’s PGA Cup team, which is the reward for topping the Order of Merit.

“It’s disappointing to miss out on that,” said O’Riordan who, at 22, has time on her side to play in an abundance of the biennial matches. “But it’s something to go for in the future.”

O’Riordan’s ineligibilty is Gray’s gain. As the highest placed PGA Member in the Order of Merit, the pro from Ormskirk Golf Club has secured her place in the team that will represent Great Britain and Ireland in New Mexico in the last week in October.

Gray (above) was a member of the quintet representing Great Britain and Ireland in the inaugural Women’s PGA Cup three years ago and is delighted to reprise the experience.

“I’m looking forward to going to New Mexico in October,” she said. “We had a great time in 2019. Heather (MacRae) and Suzanne (Dickens) were in the team then and have made it this time. We’ve also got Jess (Smart) and the Captain’s pick, so I’m sure we’ll do well.

“I’m very pleased – I did my best in the Order of Merit and supported all the events. I was a bit nervous today. Obviously, I wanted to do well. I bogeyed 14 and 15, which may be made a difference. But overall I’m quite happy.”

Gray posted a two-over par total of 76 to finish two shots adrift of the winner Tracy Loveys and share second place with four others.

It also earned her second place in the Order of Merit, four points behind O’Riordan who experienced what is best described as a bad day at the office.

“I wasn’t at my best today so I’m glad my good performances from earlier in the season  have helped me,” she said.

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