Mehaffey focussed on dream future
Olivia Mehaffey (Royal County Down Ladies) driving at the 13th tee in the final of the 2016 Irish Women's Close Amateur Championship at Lahinch Golf Club. Picture by Pat Cashman

Olivia Mehaffey (Royal County Down Ladies) driving at the 13th tee in the final of the 2016 Irish Women's Close Amateur Championship at Lahinch Golf Club. Picture by Pat Cashman

Royal County Down Ladies' Olivia Mehaffey is a name synonymous with winning and having claimed the Irish Close Championship recently, she's set her sights on the very top of the game.

The 18-year old  now plays off plus five and having player in the BMW PGA Championship Pro-Am  at Wentworth with former Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley, former Westlife star Brian McFadden and fellow BMW Daily Telegraph title winner (and friend) Jamie Li, she's looking forward to summer of success and her college career in the US.

She said: "I am in Woburn after Wentworth to prepare for the Women’s British Open and ILGU High Performance Coach Donal Scott will be there with me. I have arranged to meet all ILGU HP coaches before the Curtis Cup so I am fully prepared."

Having won the 2016 Irish Ladies Open Stroke Play, the Welsh Ladies Open Stroke Play and the Irish Close Championship, Mehaffey added: "I was proud to have won the Irish Open Stroke Play at The Island as I was quite ill in the run up to it and winning the Irish Close Championship was something I have always wanted, so those two memories really stick out for me."

A grateful Mehaffey reflected on what has helped her get where she is today, commenting: "I have worked really hard but I also have the best team around me. The coaches I go to are world class."

Recent Results (2015 & 2016)

  • May 2016 Irish Women’s Close Lahinch 1st
  • April-May 2016 Welsh Women’s Open Stroke Play Conwy  1st
  • April 2016 Scottish Women’s Open Stroke Play Troon 2nd
  • April 2016 Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play The Island 1st
  • October 2015 BMW Telegraph Quinta do Lago 1st (16 shot victory)
  • May 2015 Welsh Women’s Open Stroke Play Southerndown 1st
  • April 2015 Scottish Women’s Open Stroke Play Troon 1st

A new chapter awaits for the GB&I Curtis Cup team member as she begins university life as a Sun Devil athlete at Arizona State University in August.

"I spoke to a lot of universities but Arizona really stuck out for me," she said. "The facilities, team and coaches are brilliant and that combined with the weather made for a perfect choice. I have chosen to study business, sport and media and a couple of the girls on the golf team are studying that too, so I think it’s a good choice."

Right now golf and study are on the cards, but looking to the future Mehaffey has an idea of where she would like to be.

"Competing on the LPGA tour is definitely the long term dream," she said. "I want to finish my degree and progress my golf game and really see where things go from there. It’s a great opportunity to get to play in the US on different courses, and learn about the different types of grass and greens."

Between tournaments, practice and travel, spare time must be seldom come by, but she believes everything can be fit in if you prioritise far enough in advance.

She said: "I love having a busy schedule and I prioritise the things most important to me; family, friends, golf, school and training. There is enough time in the day to do it all and I love it."

Player Profile — Olivia Mehaffey

  • Age: 18
  • Golf club: Royal County Down Ladies Handicap: +5
  • Women’s WAGR: 9
  • LGU Order of Merit: 1

Age you started?

Most memorable achievement?
Coming from five back to win the win the Helen holm in 2015

Favourite golf course?
Royal County Down

Dream fourball?
Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy

Favourite club?

Best part of your game?
Short game

Lifelong career ambition?
To be a success on the LPGA tour and win majors

Best shot/putt? (Course, club & why)
Irish Close in Lahinch, three-iron from 200 yards to 3 feet on the 15th which set up an eagle chance and helped me win the 2016 Irish Close Championship

Hobbies outside golf? 
pending time with my friends, shopping, going for walks Stroke Play or Match Play

Strokeplay or matchplay?

Putter or driver?