Mehaffey new 'Queen of the Scots' as Rose rules in the US
Glorious Irish prospect Olivia Mehaffey defied wild north-westerly winds and one of golf's toughest courses, Royal Troon, yesterday as she collected the most prestigious prize yet in her career, the Helen Holm Trophy.
Mehaffey, 17, completed a sensational hat-trick of victories at the Irish Girls Championship last week, but winning the Scottish Open Stroke Play title propels her into a new dimension.
The Royal Co Down Ladies member makes no secret of her audacious ambition one day to be women's World No 1.
The class, tenacity and patience she displayed in tough conditions on the Ayrshire coast strongly suggests this is no pipe dream. "The last six holes were brutal but I am delighted," Mehaffey said after signing for the three-over-par 75 that left her on four-over for 54 holes, one clear of Anais Meyssonnier of France (78), with 15-year-old Scot Shannon McWilliam (79) two back in third.
"This is my first senior international (title) and definitely the best thing I've won so far," added Mehaffey, currently studying Sports Science in Newry but scheduled to take up a US golf scholarship at Arizona State. Castletroy's Chloe Ryan tied 10th on 11-over after a closing 78.
Justin Rose racked up his seventh PGA Tour success in record style as the final day of the weather-ravaged Zurich Classic of New Orleans became a veritable birdie-fest on a soft TPC Louisiana course that fitted neatly the 'Big Easy' tag.
After wrapping up the final 12 holes of his interrupted third-round 65 in the morning, 2012 US Open champion Rose rounded out a tournament record 22-under-par tally with a closing 66 to finish one clear of Cameron Tringale (65).
The Englishman, 34, went a career-best 66 holes without a bogey in New Orleans and assured himself of his sixth straight year with a win on the PGA Tour, establishing himself among the favourites for this week's Cadillac World Match Play in San Francisco.
Meanwhile, Wu Ashun, 29, became the first Chinese winner of a European Tour event on home turf after David Howell faltered late in the Volvo China Open. A 71 at Shanghai Pudong saw Wu through by one after Howell bogeyed 14 and 18.
Donegal's Ruaidhri McGee, 24, banked his biggest cheque and copperfastened his place on the Challenge Tour with Saturday's runner-up finish at the Open de Madrid. Winner Nacho Elvira had an albatross two at the fourth as a closing 67 moved him four clear.
Rosapenna favourite McGee shot a 71 to leave him tied second on 17-under with Portugal's Ricardo Gouveia. The €14,400 he earned at El Encin lifted McGee to sixth in the money list.