Olivia Mehaffey secured her first top-10 finish in over a year as a strong final round in Spain saw her end the Communicad de Madrid Ladies Open in ninth place.
The Tandragee woman carded six birdies and just a single bogey at Jarama-RACE Golf Club on her way to a five-under 67 to end the week at 12-under-par and pick up her first top-10 result since the Carlisle Arizona Women’s Classic in March 2021.
It’s a reward for some hard work from Mehaffey, who has laboured slightly in her first full season as a professional but has shown glimpses of her potential with four top-20 finishes on the Ladies European Tour in her last five starts.
But on this occasion she finally broke unfamiliar ground as she bounced back from an early bogey at the par-three third with a fantastic display beyond that, as she made the turn in one-under after back-to-back birdies at the fifth and sixth.
And it was another pair of back-to-back birdies on the back nine – at the 10th and 11th, and 13th and 14th – that saw Mehaffey rapidly climb the leaderboard. Indeed, she was playing so well there will perhaps be a tinge of disappointment she didn’t kick on even higher on her way back to the clubhouse.
However, it is still an excellent week in her rookie season for the former Arizona State star and she will look to keep that going as she bids to take another step closer to her ultimate aim of reaching the LPGA Tour.
Despite finishing in the top-10, Mehaffey was still a whopping 11 shots off winner Ana Pelaez, who cruised to victory on home soil as a six-under 66 in her final round took her to 23-under-par, six clear of the rest of the field.
The Spaniard only needed a one-under round to win but instead turned in a bogey-free round consisting of an eagle and four birdies to make it a procession in the Spanish capital, with the 24-year-old closing out her first LET victory in style.
Sweden’s Linnea Strom signed for the lowest round of the final day, a fantastic 64, to claim solo second at 17-under-par, with Pia Babnik, Manon de Roey, Gabriella Then and Spanish amateur Cayetana Fernandez sharing third at 15-under.