Inaugural IGWA awards for Darcy, Branigan, McKenna and Haslett

The Irish Golf Writers' Association awards for 1976 have been won by Eamonn Darcy (professional), Declan Branigan (amateur), Mary McKenna (women) and Miss Violet Haslett (distinguished service).

The winners were named following a ballot among members of the IGWA and will be presented with their awards, which are sponsored by Sterling Roncroft, at a dinner in Milltown on January 10th.

Darcy, who made his Ryder Cup debut in 1975, was the leading money winner among British and Irish professionals during 1976 when he finished second in the PGA Order of Merit to Severiano Ballesteros (Spain).

Darcy won the World Under 25 championship and the Irish Dunlop tournament and also finished on the winning team, with Christy O'Connor Jnr in the Sumrie better-ball tournament. He finished joint first in the Penfold tournament, but lost the top prize after a play-off.

Branigan won the Willie Gill Award for being the leading points scorer in the Irish championships (national and regional). He won the Irish Close and West of Ireland titles and finished runner-up in the East of Ireland.

Although Miss McKenna did not win a national title during 1976 she was beaten by Claire Nesbitt in the final of the championship and also in the final of the Irish Foursomes‚ she was runner-up in the British women's stroke-play championship.

She was a member of the Curtis Cup team that met the United States at Lytham in June and a member of the winning British and Irish Vagliano Trophy team. She was also the leading points scorer for Ireland in the Home internationals at Troon and for Leinster in the interprovincial championship.

Miss Haslett has rendered sterling service to women's golf. She was secretary of the ILGU for 29 years, from 1946 until 1975 when she retired.