Thursday 18 July 2019

Joke's not on Mehaffey as she gets invite to Augusta

Olivia Mehaffey. Photo: USGA/Steven Gibbons
Olivia Mehaffey. Photo: USGA/Steven Gibbons

Brian Keogh

Olivia Mehaffey laughed off a cruel prank from her room-mate and proudly showed off her invitation to play in the inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship next April.

The Royal County Down Ladies' star, 21, is one of 72 top female amateurs who will tee it up in the new 54-hole event at the Georgia club the week before the Masters.

After two rounds at Champions Retreat Golf Club in nearby Evans from April 3-4, the entire field will play a practice round at Augusta National on the third day before the top 30 and ties after opening 36 holes go on to compete again at Augusta National in the third and final round.

Banbridge-born Mehaffey saw her peers showing off their invitations online yesterday and was disappointed she hadn't received one until her room-mate finally put her out of her misery.

"My room-mate had it and was playing a joke on me," the Arizona State star said. "We got back from practice, and I told him, 'Oh I didn't get an invite yet'.

"And then he waited until after dinner and said something arrived for me today!"


Ranked 24th in the world, she added: "This is such an amazing opportunity for women's amateur golf, and it's a privilege to get to be part of it."

Meanwhile, Robin Dawson has signed a two-year deal to represent Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links as the resort's touring professional. The Tramore native will wear the Portmarnock Links crest as he competes around the world on the Challenge Tour and the European Tour.

"Portmarnock Links is one of my favourite courses and for me to now be their Touring Professional, is a huge honour," Dawson said.

In amateur golf, Portmarnock's Conor Purcell closed with a three-under 69 to finish 34th on six-over in the Australian Master of the Amateurs at Royal Melbourne. Kinsale's John Murphy slipped to 62nd on 16-over after an 81 as Taiwan's Chun-An Yu tied with Japan's Keita Nakajima on six-under before winning at the third tie hole.

At the South American Amateur Championship in Chile, Lurgan's Annabel Wilson shot a one-under 71 to move up to 10th on three-over at halfway, seven shots off the lead, as Lisburn's Paula Grant shot 75 to share 35th on 10-over. Galway's Ronan Mullarney withdrew from the men's event with illness while Douglas' Peter O'Keeffe shot a level par 72 to leap to 23rd on two-over, and sits eight behind leader Mario Fernandez de Oliveira.

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