GOLF: ‘Now I know I can win’ says Olivia

Banbridge girl Olivia Mehaffey has made it two wins on the trot, adding the prestigious Helen Holm Scottish Open Strokep Play Championship to her Irish Girls U18 Open title. This weekend, she's going out to make it a hat-trick at the Welsh Ladies' Open.
Banbridge girl Olivia Mehaffey has made it two wins on the trot, adding the prestigious Helen Holm Scottish Open Strokep Play Championship to her Irish Girls U18 Open title. This weekend, she's going out to make it a hat-trick at the Welsh Ladies' Open.

Local girl Olivia Mehaffey has sent out a warning to the world’s top amateur golfers: she’s on form and she 
knows it!

On Sunday, the Scarva girl added the Helen Holm Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship title to her growing list of honours and, going into this weekend’s Welsh Ladies’ Open Championship, she must be in with a shout.

“It’s so good to know I can compete with all the European girls,” Olivia told the Leader after Sunday’s win at Royal Troon. “Now I’m not going to those sorts of competitions just to play, 
I’m going to win.

“It gives me more confidence that I can do it so this weekend I’ll go out and hopefully make a few birdies and see what happens.”

Last weekend’s victory means the 17 year-old has already achieved her 2014 ambition to win an overseas senior tournament. Now she wants more.

“It’s definitely the biggest competition I have won so far,” she said. “I think it was the strongest field I’ve played in. Linnea Strom, the world number three, was there and there were 11 countries 
represented.”

It was a victory that had to be hard earned. Mehaffey hadn’t led at any stage of the competition, except when it really counted.

Going into the final round, she trailed leader Strom by three shots and even holing what turned out to be the winning putt of a tough final round 75, Olivia didn’t know what was at stake.

“I honestly didn’t expect it at all,” she said.

“I didn’t know I had a chance of winning but, coming down the last hole, the Irish girls were all out cheering me on. Whenever I handed in my scorecard, they all jumped on me and told me I was leading by a shot. I couldn’t believe it.

“On the final hole, I had a putt and I asked dad if I holed it could I get top three. He told me just to concentrate so I think he had a better idea than I did.

“I have never played in worse conditions. I shot eight under there last year and shot three over on Sunday this year but I felt that I played just as well this time. It was so windy and people were struggling with that on top of the changes to the course.”

Last week, Olivia told the LEADER she has ambitions of becoming the ladies’ world number one once she turns pro after jetting off to take up a scholarship at Arizona State University.

This weekend she’ll be going out to again prove her credentials at Southerndown Golf Club in South Wales.