Posts Tagged ‘Paula Grant’

Olivia Mehaffey handed late invite into US Women’s Open at Shoal Creek

May 29, 2018


Olivia Mehaffey in action with ASU


Olivia Mehaffey will get her first taste of life inside the ropes at a US Women’s Open after receiving a late call-up to play in this week’s event at Shoal Creek, Alabama (May 31-June 3).
“It is a great learning opportunity to get to do this as an amateur,” said the 20-year-old, who is currently ranked 20th in the world.
“I’m excited to get out there and be in that environment.”
The Banbridge born golfer, who has just completed the second year of her college career at Arizona State, tried to play her way into the tournament via qualifying on May 14th but agonisingly came up one shot short.
However, she gratefully accepted the invite she received on Sunday evening and hopped on an early flight Monday morning to Alabama.
The last Irish golfer to compete in the US Women’s Open was Jordanstown born Stephanie Meadow who remarkably finished in third place, three shots behind the winner Michelle Wie, on her professional debut in 2014.
This will not be Olivia’s first experience of major golf, she competed in last year’s Ricoh British Open at Kingsbarns carding rounds of 72/75 to miss the cut.
“I’m excited, anytime you get the opportunity to tee it up with the professionals and play majors is amazing,” she added.

“I love the big events, the crowds and being surrounded by great players.”

It’s the start of a very busy summer of golf for Olivia who will go from the US Open to the Curtis Cup in New York (8-11 June) followed by the Palmer Cup at Evian Resort GC (July 6-8).
Olivia will be joined in the Curtis Cup team by Lisburn’s Paula Grant as GB&I attempt to retain the title they won at Dun Laoghaire GC two years ago.


Excited Grant joins Mehaffey on GB&I Curtis Cup team for Quaker Ridge clash

April 27, 2018

Paula Grant in action at County Louth Golf Club.
Image by Jenny Matthews (

Ulster and Ireland amateur stars Olivia Mehaffey (RCDL) and Paula Grant (Lisburn) have been included in the GB&I team to face the United States in the 40th Curtis Cup match which will be played at Quaker Ridge, New York from 8-10 June.
GB&I will defend the historic trophy after securing an 11½-8½ win over the United States at Dun Laoghaire two years ago.
Paula Grant is a former R&A Foundation scholar and last year she won the Irish Women’s Close Championship for the second time in five years following her success in the event in 2013.

“I’m so excited and can’t wait to get over there,” said Paula who led the qualifiers after the stroke play stage of the 2017 Ladies British Open Amateur Championship at Pyle & Kenfig.

“I made a decision a year or so ago to put more time into my golf and I’ve worked hard with the ILGU coaches and my own coach at Lisburn, Stephen Hamill, it’s nice to get the rewards.”

The 24-year-old optometrist admitted that watching her Irish international contemporaries Maria Dunne, Leona Maguire and Olivia Mehaffey competing at recent Curtis Cups had provided extra incentive.
“I was on the fringes of selection four years ago but I probably wasn’t ready,” she added.
“When I saw how well Maria, Leona and Olivia have played in recent Curtis Cup matches I really started to believe that I could compete at that level as well.”
Olivia and Alice Hewson will be making their second appearances for GB&I in the Curtis Cup after featuring on the winning side at Dun Laoghaire in 2016.
In 2016 Olivia won the Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play Championship and Welsh Ladies Open Stroke Play Championship.
This year, she finished tied first in the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, her first collegiate tournament representing Arizona State University, and has been selected for the International Team to play against the United States in the Palmer Cup at Evian, France in July.

Elaine Farquharson-Black, who will captain GB&I in the Curtis Cup for the second time, said, “There have been a number of players throughout Great Britain and Ireland who have been in impressive form recently and it was a difficult decision to select only eight.
“The players selected will now have a wonderful opportunity to perform on the international stage in one of the world’s most prestigious events and I’m sure that they will give their very best as we attempt to retain the trophy against a talented team from the United States.”
Ireland’s Leona Maguire, currently the number two golfer in the Women’s Amateur golf rankings will turn professional next month and has ruled herself out of contention for selection.
The non-travelling reserve is another Ulster player, Lurgan’s Annabel Wilson.

Paula Grant leads Irish contingent in Scotland with Curtis Cup selection looming

April 20, 2018

Paula Grant (Lisburn)
Picture by Pat Cashman

Leona Maguire won’t be featuring for GB&I in the Curtis Cup this year but Lisburn’s Paula Grant is hoping to nail down a place in the team at this week’s Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open Championship in Troon (April 20-22).
The GB&I side to face the USA at Quaker Rider GC (June 8-10) will be named on April 26 so this is the last chance for Paula to impress the selectors and earn her spot on the team alongside Olivia Mehaffey (RCDL) who will get the nod courtesy of her world ranking.
A qualified optometrist, Paula is somehow managing to juggle her work commitments with competing at elite level. Already this year the 24-year-old has played in the South American Amateur Championship in Argentina finishing runner-up in a star-studded field.
That was followed by a trip to Portugal for the International Championship and in the worst of the weather, she finished 13th. The weather wasn’t much better during the Spanish Open when she tied seventh in qualifying before losing out in the match play stages to the eventual winner.
“I suppose the fact that the girl who beat me went on to win the title was something but it would have been nice to have done better,” said the reigning Irish Strokeplay champion.
Last month, Paula was on her travels again as she competed for Europe against Asia Pacific in the Patsy Hankins Trophy at Doha Golf Club. Europe were comprehensively beaten but the Curtis Cup selectors watched on as Paula won her singles match. However, Paula isn’t putting much store by that performance.

She continued; “There are a lot of good players out there, all with strong claims for selection. It really would be fantastic if I did get into the team but I can’t afford to just concentrate on that goal. I must keep playing as well as I can and let my form do the trick.”

The Helen Holm Trophy will consist of 54 holes of stroke play contested over three days with 18 holes played on each day. The top 66 players and ties returning the lowest scores after two rounds will qualify for the final round.
Twelve Irish players have travelled to Royal Troon to compete at the event – Ciara Casey (Hermitage/MU), Clodagh Walsh (Castlewarden/MU), Emma Forbes (Royal Portrush), Kate Dwyer (Rossmore), Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden), Lucy Simpson (Masserene), Maura Diamond (Royal Portrush), Meadhbh Doyle (Portarlington/MU), Paula Grant (Lisburn), Sara Byrne (Douglas), Shannon Burke (Ballinrobe), Valerie Clancy (Killarney).

Info courtesy of Tony McGee

Amateur news – Ulster stars lead Boys Order of Merit and ILGU Scratch Cup standings

April 17, 2018

Aaron Marshall (Lisburn GC) (© Golffile | Phil Inglis)

Lisburn’s Aaron Marshall is the new leader of the Bridgestone Boys International Order of Merit following a superb display at the Peter McEvoy Trophy.
While Aaron narrowly missed out on the title, finishing one shot behind the winner at Copt Heath, he scooped 70 order of merit points for his performance.
An opening round 67 gave Marshall the lead at the halfway stage. His title challenge only came unstuck during the closing stages of the final round. Bogeys at two of the last three holes put paid to his chances.
Athenry’s Allan Hill was next best of the Irish at the McEvoy Trophy, taking seventh place. Hill is now second in Bridgestone Boys International Order of Merit, 22 points behind the leader.
Odhran Maguire from Slieve Russell slips to third having previously been tied at the top with Edward Walsh (Mallow) and Luke O’Neill (Connemara).
In ladies golf, a pair of Ulster golfers are leading the way at the top of the ILGU Scratch Cup rankings following the most recent event at Cork GC.
Malone’s Louise Coffey claimed the Ford Cork Scratch Cup on a countback from Lauren Murray (Delgany) at the weekend.
Victory moved Louise up to second place in the overall rankings on 48pts, 10 points behind Paula Grant (Lisburn) who skipped the Cork event.

Driven Mehaffey targets Curtis Cup and NCAA Championship double in 2018

December 19, 2017

Olivia Mehaffey in action with ASU

Christmas, a time to relax and unwind unless, that is, you’re Olivia Mehaffey (RCDL).
The 20-year-old Irish international hasn’t stopped since flying back home from the US where she is in the second year of a golf scholarship at Arizona State University.
Olivia is in full prep mode, planning for a 2018 that she hopes will include a successful defence of the Curtis Cup with GB&I and the NCAA Championship title with her college teammates.
The Banbridge golfer was recently named on the 14-player provisional GB&I squad along with three other Irish internationals, Paula Grant (Lisburn), Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) and the leading amateur player in the world, Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell).
“I think we will have a really strong team this year,” said Olivia who is currently ranked 13th in the world.
The 40th Curtis Cup match will be played from 8-10 June next year at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in New York. GB&I will be attempting to retain the title after an 11½-8½ win over the US at Dun Laoghaire GC, Co Wicklow in 2016.
In preparation, six potential GB&I team members, including Olivia, Leona and Annabel, met up at the venue last month for a bit of reconnaissance.
“It was really nice to get out there and play the course. It means that whoever gets picked on the team has that bit of knowledge which will certainly help,” added Olivia who won 3.5 points on her Curtis Cup debut at Dun Laoghaire.
“It was a typical parkland with greens that were very quick and had plenty of slope.”
The eight-player team will be announced on April 26 next year. The two leading players on the world rankings will automatically make the team, with six players selected by the R&A’s women’s selection committee.

Given her impressive individual matchplay record – she won three out of three to help Arizona win the NCAA title last May – it would be something of a shock not to see Olivia make the team but she’s not taking anything for granted which is why she was at Carton House last week working with coach Donal Scott.
“The game is good. I’m very happy with how I played this semester, I’m just making a few changes,” added the sociology student.
“I’m working on some new stuff now to get ready for next year.”
Arizona will be defending their title without the experienced Monica Vaughan, who graduated in the summer and Linnea Strom who will turn professional early next year. It’s likely to mean that, as the top-ranked player on the team, more responsibility will fall on Olivia’s shoulders.
She added; “I see myself as a bit of a leader and I think it is a good opportunity to embrace that role.
“I love playing first in match play. It’s about getting out there and getting some early points on the board. It’s something that I thrive on a bit.
“Losing Monica and Linnea is a big hit because they are both top 10 in the world. We will have to step up as a group. We still have a really great team. Four of the squad remain from last year. It’s exciting, we’ll see what happens.”

McDowell, Grant, Cannon and McGinley honoured by Irish Golf Writers

January 27, 2014

G-Mac wins in France.336x254
Graeme McDowell has been voted ‘Professional of the Year’ in the Irish Golf Writers’ Association awards for 2013, sponsored by Carr Golf Group.
The 34-year-old Ulster man was a multiple winner on tour last year, when he captured the RBC Heritage tournament on the PGA Tour and added the Volvo World Matchplay championship and Alstom French Open titles on the PGA European Tour.
Paula Grant (Lisburn Golf Club) has been voted ‘Women’s Amateur of the Year’ and Robbie Cannon (Balbriggan Golf Club) has won the ‘Men’s Amateur of the Year’ award.
Paul McGinley, the first Irishman to be elected captain of Europe’s Ryder Cup team, will the recipient of the ‘Distinguished Services to Golf’ award, which will be presented at an awards function in Portmarnock Golf Club in March.
A week after missing the cut at the US Masters, McDowell bounced back with a play-off win over Webb Simpson to claim the Heritage tournament in Harbour Town and then brought that form with him across the Atlantic where he defeated Tahiland’s Thongchai Jaidee in the final at Thracian Cliffs in Bulgaria. McDowell added the French Open title to his season’s collection when he was a four stroke winner over runner-up Richard Sterne.
Paula Grant, a student at the University of Ulster in Jordanstown, had a magnificent season in which she won the Irish Ladies Close championship at Ballybunion to add to her Irish Intervarsity championship and R&A Scholars Foundation successes. She also finished runner-up in the Irish Women’s Open Amateur Strokeplay championship.
Robbie Cannon showed skill and fortitude to claim the Irish Amateur Open championship at Royal Dublin Golf Club, which gave the former South of Ireland champion his biggest success to date. A career amateur, 34-year-old Cannon, beat defending champion and Walker Cup player Gavin Moynihan and Scotland’s Graeme Robertson in a play-off to claim the coveted trophy.
Paul McGinley will be recognised by the IGWA for his outstanding contribution to Irish golf at the awards dinner on March 6th. A three-time winner of the Ryder Cup as a player, McGinley – a four-time winner of the Irish PGA championship – has, throughout his career, offered great support for the development of junior golfers in Ireland.
The recipients will receive their awards, which have been specially designed by Tipperary Crystal, at an Awards Dinner, sponsored by Carr Golf Group, to be held at Portmarnock Golf Club.

Grant finds college success closer to home

July 8, 2013
Irish Close Champion, Paula Grant Pic by Pat Cashman

Irish Close Champion, Paula Grant
Pic by Pat Cashman

THE US Collegiate golf system can rightly claim to be a breeding ground for some of the world’s top players but Lisburn golfer, Paula Grant, is proving that college success can be found closer to home.
The 19-year-old, who recently won the Irish Women’s Close Championship at Ballybunion, considered continuing her education in the US before opting to stay closer to home and study optometry at Coleraine University. It’s a decision she doesn’t regret for a minute
“I’m glad I stayed here.  I seriously thought about going to America but the golf scholarship programme at UUJ is great and it has certainly brought my game along,” said Paula.
The golf programme at UUJ is still in it’s infancy but is developing rapidly with Paula leading the way this year. The Close victory in Ballybunion followed early season success which included the ladies individual title at the Intervarsity Championship in March and the ladies title at the R&A Scholars event at St Andrews. She also finished second to England’s Meghan Maclaren in the Irish Women’s Open Amateur Strokeplay.
“University has been very good for my game. I have had a lot of time to practise, I’ve been working with Stephen Hamill down at Lisburn GC and I’m on the High Performance Panel with the ILGU which is also really helpful,” added Paula who is off to England this week to compete for Ireland in the Ladies European Team championships.

“It has been tough enough at times juggling the golf and study, but it’s really about learning how to manage your time well and find the right balance.”

Given her run of success, Paula has even started to think about the possibility of playing Curtis Cup and maybe even someday turning professional.
“I never had any intentions of becoming a professional, but I’m not so sure about that either now,” continued Paula.
“I always thought that I would love to get to the highest level as an amateur and that means playing in the Curtis Cup. I have always had 2016 in mind because it will be in Ireland and because of that, I never really thought 2014 would be an option.
“To make an impression on the selectors I need to do well in the European team Championships and then show up well at the European Individuals at the end of July. If I put in some good performances it could help me along the way. All I can do is keep playing and see what happens.”
* The UUJ golf programme has recently announced details of an INSPIRE, sports scholarship scheme aimed at portgraduate students for the 2013/2014 academic year.
The INSPIRE Programme is a widening access initiative that will engage international postgraduate students from within and beyond the EU in the development and delivery of widening access focused activities.
During their time studying at University of Ulster on a one year postgraduate course of their choice, successful applicants to the INSPIRE Programme will commit to delivering elements of the Ulster Sports Outreach, SHINE@ULSTER programme for 8-10 hours per week during term time.
As high level sports participants the Interns will also be expected to engage in sport specific outreach work and represent the University in their chosen sport.

University of Ulster sweep the board at The Heritage

March 21, 2013
Ryan Gribben and Paula Grant

Ryan Gribben and Paula Grant

UNIVERSITY of Ulster completed a remarkable week at The Heritage by adding the men’s and ladies’ Intervarsity Championship titles to the team match play crown they won on Tuesday.
A sensational three-round total of 211 saw Ryan Gribben canter to an eight-stroke victory amid a cold breeze at the Co Laois venue, while Paula Grant was equally as comfortable in her victory in the Ladies’ competition, with rounds of 68 and 79 giving her an eight-shot winning margin over DCU’s Amy Farrell.
“Pitching in for eagle at the second helped settle a few early nerves for me today,” said Gribben the UU captain.
“I made a few mistakes in the middle of the round but I just stuck to my own game plan and it was a great feeling to stand on the 18th tee with a  six shot lead, it gave me a bit of breathing space.”
Grant dominated the Ladies Series’ events, and her win at The Heritage followed victories at Carton House in November and Strandhill in February, where she also carded the Ladies course record.
“It was a great week for the university, to have two teams in the semi and then to finally win the match play event,” she said.
“We were able to keep that momentum going into the individual competition.
“A special thanks goes to Alison Mofitt and the team at UU for their support. The training weekend with Johnny Foster proved to be very beneficial for all of us.”
Gary Hurley (NUIM) won the Intervarsity Series, in which the stroke play sprints played in November in Carton House and February in Strandhill were combined with the Intervarsity Championship to determine the winner.
Hurley also finished third in the championship, a final round 80 leaving him tied with his college-mate Shaun Carter, who won the silver medal.

Intervarsity Championship 2013
The Heritage Golf Club
Final results
211: R Gribben (Ulster) 69 70 72
219: S Carter (NUIM) 71 71 77, G Hurley (NUIM) 70 69 80
222: T McLarnon (Ulster) 72 72 78
223: A Lowry (NUIM) 73 75 75
224: J Pierse (UCD) 70 74 80
226: J Robinson (Ulster) 75 73 78, R Pierse (UCD) 71 77 78
227: M McClean (Ulster) 75 73 79, D Loftus (NUIM) 74 75 78, C O’Rourke (NUIM) 73 74 80
228: D McDonough (NUI Galway) 71 81 76
229: G Dunne (NUIM) 73 77 79, J Lindsay (Ulster) 73 75 81
231: E Craddock (NUI Galway) 74 78 79
232: I O’Rourke (UCC) 77 76 79, G Shaw (NUIM) 76 76 80, K Lynch (NUIM) 74 76 82
233: E Harris (Cork IT) 80 72 81, S O’Connor (NUIM) 79 77 77, R O’Dwyer (NUIM) 77 81 75
234: R McKinstry (QUB) 78 76 80, E O’Donovan (NUIM) 77 76 81, A Gleeson (UCD) 76 78 80
235: D Reidy (IT Sligo) 81 77 77, D Coghlan (TCD) 75 74 86, J Conroy (UCD) 71 84 80
236: J Ryan (UCD) 78 72 86
237: G Barry (UCC) 82 77 78, S Rowland (IT Sligo) 80 75 82, H McHugh (TCD) 77 79 81
238: D O’Connor (NUIM) 80 78 80, R Carvill (Ulster)
79 83 76, D Byrne (NUI Galway) 79 80 79, J Timlin (QUB) 78 76 84, M Morrissey (IT Sligo) 74 77 87
240: S Kinch (NUIM) 78 83 79
241: J Neiland (UCD) 84 75 82, L Harnett (UCD) 78 80 83, S Guilfoyle (NUIM) 77 82 82, C Slevin (NUIM) 77 79 85
242: R Moore (UCD) 83 74 85
243: G Mac Namara (NUIM) 86 78 79, J Hore (IT Tallaght) 76 78 89
245: J Lyons (NUI Galway) 80 79 86
246: S Mc Carthy (NUIM) 83 79 84
247: M Mulvany (IT Sligo) 80 81 86
248: A Stevenson (DBS) 81 77 90, B Cafferty (IT Sligo) 73 85 90
249: J Kelly (UCD) 79 87 83
250: M Fahy (NUI Galway) 79 84 87
251: S Stapleton (NUIM) 80 86 85
253: B Lane (Cork IT) 84 83 86, E Cantwell (WIT) 80 79 94
260: J Garbada (DBS) 89 82 89, M Kieran (IT Tallaght) 87 85 88
263: S McCoy (DBS) 92 81 90
277: A Hennessy (Cork IT) 90 92 95
289: A King (IT Tallaght) 89 101 99
NR: B Murray (UCC) 77 79 NR, H Scott (UCD) 79 77 NR, D McMahon (DBS) 97 83 NR
147: P Grant (Ulster) 68 79
155: A Farrell (DCU) 76 79
156: C Ryan (UCD) 80 76
158: S Sexton NUIM) 83 75, L Fekkes (Ulster) 78 80, L Simpson (QUB) 74 84
160: E O’Driscoll (UCD) 77 83
161: C Reynolds (DCU) 79 82
164: A Murphy (ILGU) 83 81
171: K Coey (Ulster) 80 91
176: E McGuinness (NUIM) 87 89, R Brady (Ulster) 82 94
179: E Coyne (UCC) 83 96
186: J Coyne (UCC) 90 96
WTD: J Boal (Ulster) 84 WTD

Hard work paying off for University of Ulster

March 18, 2013

THE University of Ulster golf club has pulled out all the stops ahead of the Intervarsity match-play finals which are scheduled to get underway at The Heritage tomorrow.
Weather conditions look set to be ‘challenging’ to say the least, but on the plus side, many of the players on show will be properly acclimatized for next week’s West of Ireland Championship.
The UU squad recently spent three days at the Co Laois venue preparing for the climax to the Intervarsity season under the watchful eye of coach, Johnny Foster. After two years losing out in the semi-finals, UU are already guaranteed a place in the final. Both the A and B team have reached the last four and have been drawn against each other in tomorrow morning’s semi-final.
Club Captain Ryan Gribben, a stalwart of recent Warrenpoint GC glory at All-Ireland level, has encouraged a new professional approach that is starting to pay off both on and off the course.
With the help and support of Students Union representative Alison Moffitt, the golf club is attracting some top level amateurs, amongst them Irish international Paula Grant.
Having missed out in 2011 and 2012, the opportunity to at least take an extra step has been welcomed by Ryan.
“We have ploughed more resources into the squad this year and needed to start getting some results,” said Ryan.
“The three days we spent down at The Heritage with Johnny Foster was time well spent. We have a good squad and have a good chance of doing well.”
UU golf team – Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene), Paula Grant (Lisburn), Matt McClean (Balmoral), Ryan Gribben (Warrenpoint GC), John Robinson (Royal Portrush), Stephen Boles (Bangor), James Lindsay (North West), Malachy Wylie (Balmoral), Kelsey Coey (Clandeboye), Ros Carvill (Warrenpoint)

Intervarsity Match Play Semi-Finals
The Heritage Golf Club
Tuesday 19th March
Championship Semi-Finals (7.30am)
1st Tee: NUI Maynooth v University College Dublin
(NUIM names first): Gary Hurley v Alex Gleeson; Shaun Carter v Jack Pierse; Declan Loftus v Jonathan Webster; Conor O’Rourke v Robbie Pierse; Alan Lowry v Harry Scott
10th Tee: University of Ulster (B) v University of Ulster (A)
(Ulster B names first) Stephen Boles v Tiarnan McLarnon; James Lindsay v Paula Grant; Malachy Wylie v Matt McClean; Kelsey Coey v Ryan Gribben; Ros Carvill v John Robinson
Plate Final (11.30am)
Waterford IT v UCD
(WIT names first): David Whitty v John Conroy; Derek Power v David Manifold; Eoin Cantwell v Jack Ryan; John Meagher v Ross Moore; David Baker v Joe Neiland
Championship Final (12.30pm)