Donegan looking to draw inspiration from Pebble Beach at Dromoland Castle

Ronan MacNamara

Aine Donegan (USGA/Kathryn Riley)

Leona Maguire remains the primary draw for Irish golf fans when the KPMG Women’s Irish Open returns to Dromoland Castle from August 31 – September 3, but she won’t have the entire crowd all to herself with local amateur hotshots Aine Donegan and Aideen Walsh set to draw a sizeable home gathering.

Particularly Lahinch woman Donegan, who is also a member of Dromoland Castle, is relishing an Irish Open debut in what is essentially her backyard, having endeared herself to Irish hearts with a superb performance at the U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach..

“I can draw on my US Women’s Open experience for the Irish Open. I played Dromoland two days in a row and it’s in really good shape and you can feel the excitement building around the place and I am really looking forward to it and it will be a great week,” explained the 21-year-old LSU student.


“I’ll be two weeks into college, but I can play. A lot of my friends and family are going. It’s great to be sleeping in my own bed and I think it will be a brilliant event, it’s almost like a dream to be honest, playing an Irish Open in my home county in a club I am a member of so I can’t wait. I am really excited.”

Donegan impressed fans worldwide at the US Women’s Open not just with her golf but with her bubbly personality. A walk and talk video made her an instant fan favourite while she wasn’t afraid to play up to the galleries throughout her four rounds at Pebble.

The KPMG Women’s Irish Open will be another venture into the limelight for Donegan but she has shown that she revels in the big occasion and will be taking another laid-back mindset into the week where she will be surrounded by friends and family.

“I’m going to go in with a similar mindset to Pebble Beach with no expectations and go and enjoy it, but it will be really good because I know everything about the course. I know a lot of people who said they are going even friends who haven’t been to a golf tournament before. They’ve been asking me what to do and I told them just watch me play golf and clap when I hit a good shot and when others clap. Don’t say anything if I hit a bad shot! It will be great to have them.”

Tickets to see the stars of the Ladies European Tour at the KPMG Women’s Irish Open are now on sale HERE with under-16s gaining free entry.

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