Mehaffey digs deep to post a second-round 71 and remain in the hunt at Dromoland

Mark McGowan

Olivia Mehaffey (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan at Dromoland Castle….

Olivia Mehaffey recovered from a shaky start to turn in a one-under 71 in the second round of the KPMG Ladies Irish Open at Dromoland Castle and remain at the head of the Irish challenge.

After heavy rain made scoring difficult for the late starters in Thursday’s opening round, glorious sunshine and a light breeze presented ideal scoring conditions for the early wave on Friday, and with preferred lies in operation, low rounds were expected.


But very few actually materialised.

Two bogeys on her opening nine saw the Tandragee woman drop to one-under for the tournament as she made the turn in a two-over 37, and, having ended day one inside the top-13, she found herself dangerously close to the cut line.

She settled on the back-nine, however, making birdies at 13 and 16 before signing off with an excellent putt at the par-5 18 to record her third birdie of the day and post a second-successive under-par round.

“I think for me, consistency is probably a little bit – its something I want to improve on because I do have good finishes, but I also missed a lot of cuts,” she’d say afterwards when asked what the key to her resurgence in recent months. “So I think the consistency probably is the most part.

“But I mean, I feel like I feel like my game is good enough and I feel like it’s nice to start to get that confidence back.”

The back nine resurgence has booked her safe passage to the weekend rounds, and, provisionally tied for 17th with the afternoon session in it’s infancy, a run at her first LET title is not out of the question.

“I mean, if you asked me that question maybe six months ago, the answer would have been different,” she said when asked her satisfaction at making the cut. “But, I’m starting to get my confidence back and, and play a little bit more fearless out there. I’ve always been an aggressive player and it’s nice to be out there and swinging freely again, just feeling good about just making the cut though and in a prominent position as well. Yeah, absolutely.”

Despite her good position on the leaderboard, with a little bit more luck on the greens she could easily be in the top three or four names on the board.

“I’m hitting good puts, you know,” she explained. “You might have a day where you go out and you just hole everything, you know, it’s just your day.

“I didn’t feel like today…. I felt like I was burning edges and lipping out and, but I think you just have to keep believing that you’re a good putter.”

The putts finally started to drop on the closing three holes, though and the strong finish puts a totally different framing to her work over the two days.

“I mean, it’s nice to [finish strong] you know, I was two-over through nine so to get those birdies coming in. I think I was two-under for the last three and had a really good chance on 17 as well.

“So, I think that was really nice, it gives you a little bit of momentum. I really wanted to hole that one for birdie on the last. So it’s nice to have that little momentum going into tomorrow.”

Mehaffey will be joined at the weekend by Hermitage amateur Kate Lanigan who shot an excellent three-under 69 to move to -3 for the tournament, while Sara Byrne and Beth Coulter at +1 and +2 respectively face nervous waits to see where the cutline, which currently sees Byrne in and Coulter out, falls.


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