Stephanie Meadow has found herself a woman in demand over the past few weeks between trying to organise catch-ups with friends and providing tickets while she’s back in Northern Ireland.
The Jordanstown native is playing as home an event as she can this week at the ISPS HANDA World Invitational, the Galgorm touring professional teeing it up at her home course – along with Massereene – hoping for her second win at the event.
But before she even gets the action under way she has found her attention wanted elsewhere by family and friends eager to get to see her before she jets back to the States in the middle of next week, along with sponsors and media commitments ahead of the tournament.
Those are the kind of additional extras players have to deal with when it comes to events on home soil, but Meadow is taking everything in her stride as she simply enjoys being back on familiar territory.
“It’s just such a great week, and I think it’s a good week to kind of cherish these moments. Life is bigger than golf, and to be able to do what I love in front of the people that I care about is a big deal,” smiles the 30-year-old, who has fiance Kyle flying in this week.
“It’s one thing to have an Irish Open, or kind of Irish LPGA event, but to have it so close to home is really special. It would be incredible (to win). I couldn’t think of anything better. A Major would probably be nice, but this would be pretty special, too.
“You know, at the end of the day I just have to treat it like any other week. It’s easy to try harder or just try to do it in front of people or whatever it might be. So I think it’s just important for me to stick to my processes and what I normally do every week, and add some spa time in there too and I should be fine.”
The last time Meadow won – claiming a one-shot victory over Charley Hull in the inaugural tournament in 2019 – the event was unsanctioned, but she returns this year with it now tri-sanctioned by the LPGA, Ladies European and DP World Tours.
She also returns this year after skipping last year’s running due to playing at the Olympics in Tokyo and, ranked 63rd in the Race to CME Globe standings, she knows that a big week could take her a huge step closer to retaining her playing rights for next year.
And with the World Invitational being bigger and better than ever before, Meadow acknowledges it will be a big test if she wants to emerge victorious again, but she’s confident she can get the job done at two courses she enjoys playing.
“With two golf courses it’s always a little bit trickier. Massereene is definitely firmer and it’s not a golf course you can kind of just walk around and be like, okay, cool,” she added.
“The rough is thick there and there are some blind tee shots and things like that. It’s going to be interesting. I think the greens here at Galgorm are phenomenal, so very impressed.”