Douglas amateur Sara Byrne’s second KPMG Women’s Irish Open start ended in fantastic fashion as the University of Miami student shot a two-under final round to post -4 for the tournament and take low-amateur honours at an event where four of the nation’s seven amateur competitors made the cut.
“This whole week has been unbelievable,” Byrne said. “I never wanted to end. Even though my last nine holes was a little bit of a struggle compared to my front nine today, it’s one of those experiences that I just, I was just absolutely loving it.
An eagle-two on the reachable par-4 15th was the highlight of the day for Byrne, and, having started on the 10th, came in the middle of a scintillating front nine that she covered in -4.
“15 is a good number for me,” she explained. “I hit three wood which landed just to the back of the green and I hit really high. So it just stopped and I rolled in a 20-foot putt and there you go, that was it.”
Byrne is scheduled to fly back to Miami at 7am on Monday morning but after a taste of pro golf and the accompanying proof that she has what it takes to mix it with some of the Ladies European Tour’s best, she’s keener than ever to make the transition to the pro ranks after graduation.
“Oh, absolutely,” she said when asked if this whets the appetite a little more. “Even on the front nine today, like I missed a putt from like five feet and a putt from 10 feet. So even though I was coming through four-under, I was feeling that could have been even better.
“And again on my last nine there, I missed two putts within six, seven feet. So it was just one of those days where it was actually really frustrating. I felt like I had so much more in me today. It’s given me way more appetite.”
But there’ll be no rest for the student who will be straight back in competition mode when she arrives in Miami for her final year.
“Yeah, my first one starts on Monday next week,” she said. “So tomorrow morning I fly back and we leave on Saturday.”
Having enjoyed a summer at home, the highlight of which was a second Irish Close Championship win at Connemara, coupled with gaining experience in two LET Access Series events, she is now looking forward to taking her form Stateside and hopefully getting to experience more professional events in the not too distant future.
“This summer has been absolutely fantastic. I’ve loved every second of it. I’m looking forward to going over to the States and seeing what I can do over there.
“Yeah. Knowing that I made the cut in my first three pro events ever and obviously this is the main tour. So I knowing that — I may not have been in contention this week and honestly, I left so much out there this week — knowing that, I can contend gives me great confidence. So I can’t wait to be out here one day.”