Olivia Mehaffey will make her first LPGA Tour appearance on U.S. soil as a professional later today [Thursday] when the Cambia Portland Classic tees off in Oregon.
Joined by Jordanstown’s Stephanie Meadow, Mehaffey secured an invite to compete in the star-studded event where she’ll hope to take full advantage of the riches on offer at the $1.4million tournament being played at Oregon Golf Club.
“So excited to play my first LPGA event in the US as a professional,” Mehaffey posted on Twitter, having already impressed at the tri-sanctioned World Invitational at Galgorm Castle and Massereene where she delighted home crowds with a tied-17th finish in a hopeful sign of things to come.
Mehaffey has all the credentials to join Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow as a regular fixture on the LPGA Tour having graduated Arizona State with a Masters degree in the classroom and a glittering CV on the golf course. The four-time All American won all before her with the Sun Devils, cementing a glorious legacy in Arizona before turning pro in May.
Already safely advancing through to Stage Two of LPGA Q-School set for October, Mehaffey will hope to produce a confidence-building week as she gets another opportunity to test herself against the stars of the top tier of women’s golf.
Solheim Cup star Leona Maguire is expected to return to the fairways at next week’s Walmart Arkansas Championship.
Meanwhile, one of the favourites going into this week, Australian Hannah Green admits she’s been enjoying the Portland food scene ahead of tournament, finding some tastes of home on her ventures, a worthy substitute given ongoing restrictions means a trip home to Perth is looking unlikely for now.
Green normally heads back to Australia on a regular basis, sacrificing a few playing opportunities for the chance to decompress at home. But with heightened immigration restrictions, Green and her fellow Aussie Su Oh have been relying on their friends around the world as they navigate the season.
“We actually spent a week in the U.K. with Georgia Hall and Harry, her boyfriend, so they looked after us for a week, but then we returned to Orlando, Florida (where Golf Australia has a house). It’s kind of our home away from home,” said Green. “Even then we don’t have a membership at any golf club, so just been practicing and playing with other LPGA players, so very grateful to all those girls that have took us out and played. It’s obviously not the same. It is nice. We have a bed to sleep in and a lot of things that we’ve accumulated since being out here.”
While she can’t get the refresher she needs by physically making it back home, Green did get a huge pick-me-up last week thanks to fellow Perth resident Daniel Ricciardo, who captured his first Formula 1 victory since 2018 on Sunday. “It was great for him to get the win. Obviously a few years since he had one, so hopefully I can have another Perth person win this week,” she said. “A few of the members at my home club know him and his family, so I’m sure they would’ve celebrated for him.”
And if Green wins at Oregon Golf Club, she promises to follow in Ricciardo’s footsteps with a “shoey,” his signature celebration of chugging champagne from his racing shoe. “Su and I said whoever wins next has to do a shoey, and then I’ll do it with her and vice versa,” Green said with a big laugh. “So yes, we’ll do it. Have never done it before and I was quite surprised that Lando (Norris, Ricciardo’s teammate) even did it, so I’ll do one. I’ll take one for the team.”
Thursday’s tee-times (Irish)
- 21.17 – Stephanie Meadow
- 21.39 – Olivia Mehaffey
- Full scoring HERE