Olympian Stephanie Meadow faces 2017 with renewed confidence

Olympian Stephanie Meadow has signed a deal with Investec Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Olympian Stephanie Meadow has signed a deal with Investec
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Stephanie Meadow will launch her 2017 LPGA campaign next month with renewed confidence and the support of a major new sponsor.
The 24-year-old Olympian, born in Jordanstown, but residing in America for almost a decade has penned a deal with Investec in Ireland, a leading specialist bank and wealth and investment firm.
“I’m not Rory McIlroy. People probably don’t realise how expensive it is to play at this level,” said Stephanie.
“Last season cost me in the region of $100,000 by the time I’d paid for a caddy, coach, tournament entries, hotels etc etc.
“But you have to see it as a long-term investment and that is why sponsorship is vital.
“Investec have already done more than I expected, they have been very supportive and importantly it feels great to finally have an Irish sponsor. To be backed by a firm that is committed to my goals and actually thinks I can help their business is very special.”
Stephanie Meadow 12/1/2017Investec have a track record of supporting sportspeople and teams from an early stage of their career. In Ireland, their sponsorships include former Ryder Cup captain, Paul McGinley, who has been an ambassador for 25 years.
Commenting on the deal Michael Cullen, CEO, Investec Ireland said: “I am delighted to have Stephanie on board and I look forward to building a fantastic working relationship with her in the coming year.
“It is hoped our support will help to nurture Stephanie’s fantastic talent and help her to continue to compete at the top of her game.”
Stephanie will focus all her efforts on the LPGA once again this season hoping to build on a fine end to 2016 that was kick-started by her Olympic experience in Rio.
“It’s a daft game,” said the Jordanstown born golfer who turns 25 later this month.

“If you are struggling with confidence it only takes one shot, one round to get things moving in the right direction.”

Stephanie’s moment came on the second day of competition in Brazil when she signed for a five under par 66.
“My form had started to turn upwards a bit before the Olympics but that kind of topped it off,” added Stephanie.
“That was the first time I’d put together a good round against the top girls in a while. Being able to do that in a high- pressure situation was a bit of like, ‘ok, I’m back!’.
“I had been playing well at home from March/April time and I was waiting, waiting, asking myself ‘why is this not happening in tournaments?’ and then finally, it happened, it was perfect timing.
“You can only work so hard without seeing results, so that was a key moment for me last season.”

Stephanie forced her way into the public consciousness by finishing third in the US Open on her professional debut in 2014, but the death of her father [Robert] in May 2015 hit her hard. She struggled to concentrate on the course and lost form and confidence.
She added, “I’m not going to lie, last season was no fun early on. I don’t care who you are, playing like I was playing is no fun.

“I would be on the course, I would be trying to focus and I just couldn’t – my mind was so filled with other stuff. When you are in a constant state of emotional distress, you can’t perform well, it doesn’t matter who you are.”

It’s taken her the best part of 18 months to finally feel like she has turned a corner and she’s now looking to force her way back up the rankings.
“Personally and as a golfer, I feel like I’m coming out of a rough spell,” she added.
“What happened [the death of her father] will always affect me and be with me. But there comes a time when although it doesn’t hurt less, you learn how to deal with it.”
Currently ranked 259th in the world, Stephanie is hoping to start her LPGA 2017 season at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open in February (13-19). Her tour ranking of 148 [full field events are 144] should ensure she gets plenty of starts and she will also focus on qualifying for the five women’s majors.
“I would like to be in the position where I make it into the Asian swing [at the start of October],” she said
“That’s top 60 on the money list and a realistic goal if I get to play in 17/18 events.
“I am a lot more confident now and if I get on a roll, you just never know. In the future, I obviously want to be higher than that but start small and keep improving.”

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