A devastating double-bogey on the 18th hole cost Olivia Mehaffey full playing rights on the Ladies European Tour for next season as she finished one shot off the cut line at Q-School in La Manga, Spain.
The Tandragee woman needed to finish inside the top-20 in order to earn full category 11 membership on the LET next season, but she would drop three shots in her last two holes to only sign for a level-par 73 on the South Course at La Manga to finish two-over for the week.
Sitting just short of the green in two on the par-five 18th, Mehaffey would catch her wedge shot heavy and ended up needing to take an unplayable lie, and from there she was unable to get up-and-down for bogey, taking an ugly seven.
It left her anxiously waiting to see where the cut line would fall and, unfortunately, it would prove to be one shot too low as 23 players finished at one-over or better.
Mehaffey does receive limited category 15 LET status for next season as a result of her tied-24th finish, but it means she will be splitting her time between it and the American second-tier Symetra Tour, where she also has limited rights due to her finish at LPGA Tour Q-School.
This will be a bitter blow for the 24-year-old, who had started the day outside the cut mark, brought herself back inside it with a good opening 11 holes but then saw it all fall apart in her final two holes.
Having started the day two-over, Mehaffey carded birdies at the third, fourth and 11th, bringing her inside the top-20, and even a bogey at the 12th kept her inside the mark as other players struggled on the south Spanish coast.
It had looked like a birdie at the par-four 16th was enough to guarantee her card, at that point taking her back into red figures at one-under, with a bogey at the 17th just a blip on her way in.
However, that crushing double on the par-five 18th dropped her back to two-over and, after a wait to see how the rest of the field would finish, it would unfortunately not be in her favour.
The former Arizona State star will still get her chance to impress on the LET next year thanks to her conditional status and will hope she can earn her way onto either the LPGA or LET full-time in 2023.
Only four players secured a place in the top-20 – with USA’s Gabriella Then winning the qualifier – as England’s Meghan MacLaren, Wales’ Becky Brewerton and Scottish duo Hazel Macgarvie and Laura Beveridge all earned full-time status for next year.
- Full scoring HERE