Olivia Mehaffey admits she can’t wait to get going ahead of her first full season as a professional, starting with this week’s Carlisle Arizona Women’s Golf Classic.
The Northern Irish star returns to Longbow Golf Club where she has fond memories having teed up as an amateur at the event last year, finishing in a very creditable tie for sixth in a confidence boosting showing in Mesa.
Action gets underway on the Epson Tour on Thursday with Mehaffey availing of a sponsor’s exemption into the 72-hole $250,000 event that ties the second-highest purse this season and affords the Arizona State alumna a great opportunity to earn some valuable ranking points ahead of the upcoming Tour reshuffle.
“I definitely have a lot of nice memories coming back to Longbow,” Mehaffey said, who has conditional status on both the Epson Tour and Ladies European Tour this season.
“I played well there in college, played very well last year in the Epson event. It’s a course I really enjoy playing. But this is a very fun week for me, it’s a sponsor’s event. I got to meet a lot of the Carlisle team here at last year’s event, CEO Chris too, so it’s very cool to be back playing in the event again and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity.”
Although Mehaffey boasts a bundle of course experience, the former Arizona State standout hasn’t played Longbow since enjoying that tied-sixth result last year. In fact, Mehaffey has no official tournament game-time under her belt in 2022 but given the quality of her off-season work, Mehaffey insists she’s much more excited than she is nervous ahead of her first full campaign as a pro.
“I haven’t played since Q-School in December so I’m sure there’s going to be a little bit of rust to knock off and get back in the competitive swing of things but it’s more excitement than anxiety,” Mehaffey said.
“I’m really looking forward to being back competing and getting going this year. It’s my first full year as a pro so definitely feeling more excited than nervous going into this week.
“I’ve had a really nice off-season. I’ve put a lot of work in, I’ve been working really hard in the gym with my coach Jorge [Parada] and I’ve made a lot of equipment changes as well so I feel like my game is in a great place.
“Obviously you don’t really know until you play a competition and I haven’t done so for a while but it’s been a nice pre-season. I played a lot of matches with a lot of good players in the area to keep sharp and competitive through the off-season as well so I can’t wait to get started.”
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