Donegan US Open bound once again

Mark McGowan

Aine Donegan (USGA/Kathryn Riley)

Mark McGowan

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After her show-stealing performance at Pebble Beach last year, Lahinch’s own and Louisiana State University student Aine Donegan is US Women’s Open bound once again after the 22-year-old topped the qualifier at Rockwall Golf and Country Club.

With just two automatic qualifying places available, rounds of 68 and 67 respectively saw her finish the 36-hole qualifier at -9, one clear of her nearest challenger and with two to spare on the player that is now first alternate.

This means that Donegan will join Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow at Pennsylvania’s Lancaster Country Club at the end of May for her second consecutive appearance in what is arguably the showpiece event in women’s golf, and she’ll be hoping to avoid the pre-tournament troubles that saw her clubs lost in transit before finally arriving to Pebble Beach with a broken driver ahead of last year’s event.

She made light of the fact, however, instantly becoming a household name as she finished round one just a shot off the lead and won over the galleries with her bubbly personality, even taking part in a ‘walk and talk’ for NBC during her second round.

“A lot of things have changed since Pebble Beach,” she told Irish Golfer at the KPMG Women’s Irish Open last year, “especially for when I finish my amateur career and go pro after college, so I’m really trying to enjoy it all.”

And qualifying for the second-year running can only open more doors.

The LSU Junior has three top-10 finishes on the NCAA circuit in the 2023-24 season, with a best finish of second at the Moon Golf Invitational in Melbourne, Florida and will once again attract a healthy following of support when she tees it up in Lancaster.

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