Olivia Mehaffey: NI player ready to compete with the world's top emerging majors

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Olivia Mehaffey ranks 17th in the world amateur rankings for women

Northern Ireland's Olivia Mehaffey says she's & # 39; ready & # 39; feels to compete with the best golfers, as she prepares to return to competitive action. the AIG Women & # 39; s Open later this month and the ANA Inspiration in September.

And while the coronavirus pandemic has delayed its plans to turn professional, the two-time Curtis Cup player is confident in a few big weeks.

"I feel like I'm ready to compete there," she said.

"I've played in three or four majors, so I feel like I'm over just enjoying the experience. It would be great to get out of there e and feel competitive with the professionals. "

Mehaffey has qualified for the Women's Open at Royal Troon – where she won the Scottish Open Amateur in 2015 – as the highest ranked Great Britain and Amateur in Ireland, while receiving an invitation from a sponsor to the ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills Country Club in California.

Covid-19 changes

The 22-year-old had planned to attend the LPGA Qualifying School this summer, which would take place in three phases from August to September in California, Florida and North Carolina, before the coronavirus pandemic would bring about major changes in the wave calendar.

And while Mehaffey admits that a delay in turning professional is frustrating, she is excited to return to Arizona State University and study for a master's degree in organizational leadership. ] Olivia Mehaffey has remained optimistic despite the delay in becoming a professional player

"It pushed everything back for me for about a year," said the number 17 amateur in the world.

"The plan would be about Q-School.

" With everything canceled, it will be another year, but my plan is to go back to the state of Arizona, do another year, get my masters and hopefully turn pro next year.

"In the grand scheme, everything has been pushed back a year but hopefully it won't be too long in what will hopefully be a long career in professional golf."

Introducing young girls to golf would be a "big win". his

Mehaffey, who wants to follow in the footsteps of Stephanie Meadow by getting an LPGA Tour card, says she hopes to inspire young women to get started When she's in North Ireland is next to the country's golf role models, such as Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell.

"Winning a major is at the top of the list for me," she said.

"We're so lucky to have those role models on the male side, so many big winners from such a small island, and it would be great to see my first big win

"A big thing for me is to get young girls to start junior golf, so to be that role model and get a few more girls interested in the game because of my success would be a huge win for me.

"There have been a lot of great programs lately from the ILGU (Irish Ladies Golf Union) and I think many clubs are starting to push for more juniors.

"The more people we can get through the lines, that will only help and make things better."

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