Mehaffey closing in on job security for 2024 on LET

Mark McGowan

Olivia Mehaffey (Photo By Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Olivia Mehaffey may not be challenging for the title at the KPMG Women’s Irish Open at Dromoland Castle, but the 25-year-old, who took a break from the game last year to deal with the grief of the loss of her father and her subsequent drop in form, has been on a steady upward trajectory this year and currently lies inside the all-important top-70 on the Race to Costa del Sol rankings.

“Yeah, there’s, I mean, there’s always more than winning,” she said after a level-par third round that saw her slip to a tie for 30th. “And of course, you come into every week, and you want to win. And I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress this week, which has been nice. And it would just be nice to finish the week off in a nice way tomorrow. And that’s the thing with professional golf. It’s not like win or nothing, you know, it’s every single spot you finish higher, you get more ranking points, you win more money. So that’s the thing with professional golf. So I’ll go out tomorrow and try and go as low as I can and see what happens.”

Qualification as one of the leading 70 players would ensure full playing rights for 2024 – she’s held conditional status this year, and had to rely on a tournament invite to secure her place in the field this week.


“Yeah, would be great,” she said of the prospect of job security. “It’s quite tough playing on limited starts sometimes because you can’t really plan ahead and you go into events last minute, and you don’t feel like your preparation is great. And maybe you would take a few more weeks off that sort of thing.

“And obviously, there’s still quite a lot of events left in the season. So I’m not putting any pressure on myself. Like I need to finish a certain place tomorrow to do that. So and I think I just really want to work my way up the leaderboard tomorrow.”

Without having seriously contended coming down the stretch on a Sunday in 2023, that she still features as highly as she does is testament to increased consistency and that bodes well for the rest of the season, particularly as she knows that she will be able to pick and choose her events for the remainder of the year thanks to a rankings update coming into play after the Women’s Irish Open.

“There’s a reshuffle happening next week so I think I’m going to get into pretty much everything for the rest of the year,” she explained. “So that’s nice as well. It’s not like I know, after this week, I am only going to play two more events. I have a pretty full schedule until November. So that’s nice. But yeah, I mean, for me, seeing the progress to like get a little bit of momentum and bit more confidence. I think confidence is probably the biggest thing for me. I feel like I lost a lot of confidence. I think gaining confidence for the rest of the season is probably the biggest thing from from this.”

Mehaffey, like most of the competitors, have been blown away by the level of support that has turned out to Dromoland this week and who have shown their appreciation for each and every good shot hit by the entire field, and she explained that such sizable galleries are very much the exception to the norm.

“Yeah, absolutely,” she responded enthusiastically when asked if this event had a different feel to it than regular LET tournaments. “I mean, I walked up 18 there and I felt a little bit overwhelmed. There’s just so many people and it’s so nice to see. And I honestly I said to the girls I’ve been playing with who have been on the LET for a long time and said, Do you ever have crowds like this?

“I mean, we’re not even in the final group. You know, we’re maybe six groups behind that. And it was so nice to see so many people and I think this event, you feel a little bit more added pressure because you’re playing at home and got your family watching and there’s so many people out and you want Irish golf to go from strength to strength. I feel like you have that little bit more responsibility this week. So to be able to manage that, I feel like I’m pretty proud of myself.”

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