CLAIRE Coughlan or Roy Keane?
is running a fun contest until March 11 where you can vote for your favourite Cork stars since 1970 and pick the winners in each round until we're left with an overall Rebel Legend winner.
We started with 32 contenders and are now into the last 16. Keane will be the favourite here but Coughlan got a huge vote in the last round.
This poll will be open until 8am on Friday morning.
Here's the case for each of the Leeside stars and keep checking here for updates on the winners in each round.
ONE of many notable performances during Claire Coughlan’s glittering golf career came during the Curtis Cup in 2005 in Formby, Merseyside.
The Cork Golf Club member was the only Irish player in the GB+I team, which had another Cork representative in Ada O’Sullivan, the non-playing captain.
Although the US won 10-8 thanks to taking the Saturday singles 5-1, Claire had the distinction of winning all her three matches.
She partnered Scotland’s Anne Laing to 1 up and 3/2 foursomes wins over their American opponents, who included 14-years-old Michelle Wie.
And in the final day’s singles, Claire recorded a 2-up victory over Brittany Lang to complete a memorable weekend personally, though tinged with the obvious disappointment of going so close to overall success.
Two years later Claire was picked for the Curtis Cup team again in Oregon, where the Americans retained the title.
Born a 9-iron from the first tee at the Little Island club, Claire was encouraged and tutored by her grandfather Mick Twohig, a formidable player in his own right who also acted as caddy.
By the time Claire had reached the age of 14 she had already been crowned national U16 champion and from there she progressed through the ranks to blossom into one of the great golfers in these parts.
Her obvious potential was realised at just 19, when she defeated Kilkenny’s Eileen Rose Power to win the Irish Close title in Carlow in 1999, having been the Irish Junior Golfer of the Year the season before.
Claire became the youngest winner in 47 years of the prestigious championship and it was a year in which Claire was selected for the British Women’s Championship at Royal Birkdale, the Ireland team for the European Championships in Versailles and the Home Internationals in Scotland.
The National Strokeplay title found its way to Little Island as well in 2003, when Claire spread-eagled the strong field to win by seven shots in Rathsallagh, tightening her grip with a brilliant four under par 69 in the second round of the 54-hole event.
There, she came up against the defending champion, Sweden’s Louise Stahle, whose experience helped reclaim the title with a 3/2 victory.
Also, in 2005, Claire was a member of the successful GB+I side, which defeated Continent of Europe 13-10 at Chantilly.
Another crowning chapter in her career came in 2006, when she led Cork GC to their first Irish Senior Cup triumph in 79 years, defeating Co Louth 3/2 in an exciting final played in Massereen, Co Antrim.
Claire’s 3/1 victory over her fellow international Deirdre Smith helped secure a precious point in a very tight decider, Cork having defeated Royal Co Down in the semi-final.
Claire was also a proud member of the Munster team through the years and was one of the stars in the 2003 team, which broke the Leinster and Ulster grip on the title.
Claire spent a few years in the professional ranks, securing her Ladies’ European Tour card at her first attempt in 2007 before returning to amateur ranks.
More recently she has passed on her knowledge and experience as non-playing captain to a variety of representative teams, including the GB+I junior Vagliano Trophy side.
“More than any other player I’ve seen, he affects players around him.”