Posts Tagged ‘rory mcilroy’

R&A consider capping spectator numbers for Royal Portrush Open Championship

February 17, 2018

A visualisation of how the 18th green (the current 16th) will look in 2019

In an unprecedented move, the R&A is weighing up plans to cap spectator numbers at next year’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
The historic nature of The Open’s return to Northern Ireland for the first time in almost 70 years coupled with the potential for a resurgent Rory McIlroy has given officials a headache as they consider how best to deal with what could be record-breaking crowds.
Given that the Irish Open in 2012 at the same venue was a sell-out – with over 130,000 people filling through the gates – R&A officials are now pondering a move which would be a first in 140+ years of the celebrated major Championship.
Speaking earlier this week R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers said the issue was being given ‘serious consideration’.
“It’s not just the compactness [of the site], but what do fans really want, which is they want to get as close to the players as they possibly can, and that plays into how many people can we actually physically get into the complex, into the course and give them that experience. And so there’s a lot of work being done on that we haven’t concluded yet,” he said.

“I think there will be also a lot of Americans will be there, especially for the first time. I think it could be a big crowd. And if Rory keeps playing well, it’ll be an even bigger crowd.”

Last year’s Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, won by American Jordan Spieth, attracted record crowds for an Open on English soil with 235,000 people attending during tournament week which includes the practice days. It was the third highest ever, falling shy of the St Andrews Opens of 2000 (239,000) and 2015 (237,000).

To add some further context, individual daily attendance figures at the Open Championship regularly top 40,000. In 2014, when Rory McIlroy collected the Claret Jug at Hoylake, some 42,000 people came through the gates. Given that figure, upwards of 50,000 a day could well be expected at Royal Portrush.
Work is continuing apace at Royal Portrush to install the infrastructure needed to host the event next July which is set to include daily seating for approximately 20,000 spectators.
Two new holes on the championship Dunluce Links, designed by Mackenzie and Ebert and built specifically for the Open Championship were opened for play in July last year. The R&A will stage the Boys Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush and Portstewart from 14-19 August this year.

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World Ranking points up for grabs at Faldo Series Northern Ireland Championship

February 8, 2018

The 10th at Lough Erne

The Faldo Series returns to Lough Erne Resort this year in a new July date and with valuable World Ranking points up for grabs.
The Faldo Series Northern Ireland Championship will welcome a strong field of young golfers to the Enniskillen venue (July 18-20) for the 11th Faldo Series event to be hosted in County Fermanagh.
“We were determined to make sure the tournament was World Ranking this year and to do that, we opted to make it a three-day event,” said Lough Erne Director of Golf, Lynn McCool.

“Historically the tournament was held in April and that worked very well but adding another day encouraged us to move the event into the summer during the school holidays and hopefully in some warmer weather. Now that it is a world ranking event, we are expecting to receive even more interest so prospective participants should get their entries in soon.”

Last year, Robert Moran won the Faldo Series Ireland event at Lough Erne by a single shot. The Castle Golf Club member fired an excellent final round of 69 – four shots better than any other player on the day – to book his ticket to the Faldo Series Grand Final which was held at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club in UAE.
“It’s a wonderful prize to reach the Grand Final,” added Lynn.
“The winners get to travel, to spend time in a learning environment and mix with other golfers from all over the world.
“In the past, we hosted the Grand Final at Lough Erne and Sir Nick Faldo puts a remarkable amount of time and effort into the week. It’s one of the reasons why the Faldo Series is now a huge global competition.”
This year’s Northern Ireland Championship will be played over three rounds on the Faldo Course at Lough Erne. The field will be divided into five age-groups – three for boys and two for girls – and the winners of each division will again join Sir Nick Faldo at the season-ending Faldo Series Grand Final.

Lynn McCool at Lough Erne

Lynn continued: “The Faldo Course provides a different challenge for these young players. They have to think their way around, especially when faced with risk and reward holes like the 10th and the 17th.
“To beat this course you have to be able to play every shot and you have to keep going right to the very end. The closing stretch of holes lend themselves to tournament golf because it’s never over until you’ve holed out on the last.”
Sir Nick Faldo created the Faldo Series in 1996 to give opportunity to young people through golf and to help identify and nurture the next generation of champions.
Supported by golf’s governing bodies, 40 annual tournaments now take place in 30 countries worldwide, spanning Europe, the Middle East, North and South America, and Asia. Past winners include major champions Tseng Ya-ni and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy.
Competitors aged 12 to 21 can now enter the Faldo Series Northern Ireland Championship with places in the Faldo Series Grand Final awaiting the age group winners.

To enter the Faldo Series go to www.faldoseries.com.

For more information on the Faldo Series visit www.nickfaldo.com. You can also follow the Faldo Series on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/faldoseries and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/faldoseries.

Horan and Modest! Golf return to back NI Open at Galgorm Castle

January 26, 2018

Robin Sciot-Siegrist winner of the 2017 NI Open along with Mark McDonnell and Niall Horan.

Niall Horan and Modest! Golf are back on board for this year’s Northern Ireland Open at Galgorm Castle.
Modest! Golf and Horan return for a third consecutive year and record crowds are expected once more when the European Challenge Tour event takes place at the Ballymena venue from August 16-19.
Horan and fellow Modest! Golf Director Mark McDonnell are currently at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai supporting their Modest! Golf players, Scotland’s Connor Syme and England’s Jack Singh Brar.
“We are delighted to announce Modest! Golf’s return to the Northern Ireland Open for the third year. The event has grown every year and we look forward to linking up with Galgorm Castle and the Challenge Tour once again,” said Horan who played alongside Rory McIlroy in the Pro-Am at the Emirates on Wednesday.
Over 43,000 spectators came through the gates at Galgorm Castle in 2017 to witness the drama unfold before Robin Sciot-Siegrist from France was crowned champion in the Shootout Sunday format.
This year, organisers have returned to the traditional 72-hole strokeplay format, which ties in with the long-term vision for future stagings of the NI Open.
“Last year Keith Pelley, European Tour Chief Executive, challenged all the major stakeholders in golf to do their bit to introduce golf to new audiences,” explained McDonnell.
“We played our part in that by attracting the biggest ever crowd to a Challenge Tour event with the introduction of Shootout Sunday.

“Interest in the NI Open has never been higher and we are excited to return to the traditional four days strokeplay and look forward to welcoming new audiences to experience the best Challenge Tour event in the world.”

The NI Open continues to be a family-friendly event and 2018 will be no different with plenty of activities and attractions to take place away from the fairways. The GolfNow Junior NI Open proved a big hit last year and will showcase the junior talent for a second time when played over the six-hole course at the Galgorm Castle’s Fun Golf Area.
The 2018 NI Open holds another key summer date on the international schedule. It is also a hugely important event for the development of Ireland’s professionals starting out in their career and looking to make their mark in the game.
“For years the NI Open has provided Irish players much-needed playing opportunities,” explains Gary Henry, Managing Director Galgorm Castle.
“Irish professionals have the chance to compete on home soil against some of the best players in the world in one of the best events on the schedule. Just as important, this event alone opens so many doors to other events across Europe and beyond by way of reciprocal invites, which helps players put together a playing schedule for the season.”
The NI Open is an integral part of the work carried out by the Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI) and the Team Ireland Golf scheme that provides grants and funding to players in the early stages of their professional career.
“This Challenge Tour event is so important to us as a business,” added Horan.

“Year on year, this tour develops the next generation of European Tour winners and Major champions and we can’t wait for the NI Open to play its part, both this year and in future years.

“We have lots of plans with Galgorm Castle to develop this event even further over the coming years.”
Tourism Ireland also plays a key role in the success of the NI Open, especially when promoting golf on the island of Ireland to an international audience.
Aubrey Irwin, Tourism Ireland, said: “The Northern Ireland Open is a wonderful event, giving us an opportunity to showcase our world-class golf courses to a huge number of golfing enthusiasts across the world.
“There is tremendous interest in this event, as part of the European Challenge Tour series, and Tourism Ireland estimates that highlights of the event will be broadcast to approximately 540 million homes, via Sky Sports and their 26 international broadcast partners, and through digital media.
“The 2018 Northern Ireland Open will once again shine a spotlight on golf here, helping us to highlight our superb parkland courses, which complement the world-class links for which Northern Ireland is known around the world.”

(The NI Open continues to be free to enter for all the family. To get your tickets for the 2018 event, simply register online at niopen.golf).

Team NI target three-in-a-row following sensational 2017 Belfast golfing experience

January 4, 2018

Team NI celebrate Writer Cup 2017 success

Whisper it quietly, but the worm may have turned.
Northern Ireland’s golfing journalists retained the Writer Cup in 2017. That’s right, two in row! So long the whipping boys, Team NI has finally found a backbone.
The eighth edition of the Writer Cup – the Ryder Cup style event hosted by Tourism NI that pitches Northern Ireland journalists against Republic of Ireland journalists was played at Holywood GC and Royal Belfast GC.
While most of the golfing focus in Northern Ireland gravitates towards our classic links venues – Royal Portrush, RCD, Portstewart etc – Belfast can provide a unique golfing experience of its own.
Nine-holers, municipal courses, Championship venues – Belfast has pretty much every option available. There’s driving ranges and even an indoor facility – Citi Golf – when the conditions take a turn for the worse.
Staying and playing in Belfast means you can make the most of a city that has been branded ‘the best place to visit in 2018’ by top travel guide Lonely Planet.
Inspired by the surroundings of Rory McIlroy’s home course, Team NI completed a day one whitewash in the fourballs at Holywood GC to grab a commanding 4-0 lead.
The teams were treated to a wonderful evening meal at Belfast’s McHugh’s Bar after which they retreated to their base for the evening, the Hilton Hotel, near the iconic Waterfront Hall.
Team ROI had a mountain to climb in the day two singles which were staged at the historic Royal Belfast GC.
Needing just two points to retain the title a comfortable victory appeared on the cards for the ‘home’ side.
In the end, the outcome was much closer than anyone expected with ROI winning the singles 4.5 to 3.5.
It was not enough (thankfully) to prevent Team NI collecting the trophy for the second year in succession by a 7.5 to 4.5 margin. Can they make it a hat-trick of successes in 2018?

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Holywood GC and Royal Belfast are both situated just outside Belfast within 30 minutes drive of the Hilton Hotel.

Plans for new clubhouse at Holywood GC


Holywood GC

Holywood GC has recently embarked on an ambitious development plan which will transform the club in the next 18 months.
The clubhouse is set for a major upgrade to include new facilities including, a state of the art fitness suite, an indoor golf simulator and entertainment room and a Golf Academy complete with the latest technology.
In preparation for these changes, the 18th green has already been moved further away from the clubhouse and remodelled. The course is an 18 hole undulating parkland neighbouring Redburn Country Park. It overlooks the city and Belfast Lough with views that are unrivalled in the area.
To score well requires accurate driving as opposed to length and good approach shots are needed to find the greens.
Rory McIlroy stated that; “Holywood was a great course for me to learn the game on, it has all the traits that develop your game from playing it regularly. It helps you to learn to shape your shots, places emphasis on your short game and creates more versatile and adaptable golf game through the variety of different shots encountered. I have no doubt that the course helped me to become the golfer I am today.”

Looking down in the eighth green and to the left the ninth fairway at Royal Belfast

Royal Belfast
Founded in 1881, Royal Belfast Golf Club lays claim to the title of the oldest golf course in Ireland. The present layout dates back to 1925, when responsibility for the design was handed to the now revered course architect Harry Colt.
With the assistance of Walker Cup player W.A. Murray, Colt produced a course of great charm which provides a true test of skill and enjoys unrivalled views of Belfast Lough and the Antrim plateau beyond.
Royal Belfast is always meticulously maintained with impeccable greens and groves of rhododendrons and gorse providing a colourful backdrop in spring. There is a secluded, timeless feel to the club, one that has attracted the likes of tour players Michael Hoey and Rory McIlroy to play and practice at the venue.
At the heart of its varied challenges is the constant requirement for accuracy rather than length, providing all levels of golfer with a fair test of golf. The numerous bunkers and subtly sloped greens ensure that posting a low score is indeed a difficult feat.
It offers a stern golfing challenge, and the club has hosted numerous championships, most recently the Senior British Open Amateur Championship won by Spain’s Macarena Campomanes Eguiguren

Relieved Caldwell earns 2018 Challenge Tour spot

October 26, 2017

The highlight of Jonny Caldwell’s PGA Europro Tour season was winning the Cobra Puma Golf Championship at Machynys Peninsula Golf Club

Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell will be playing on the Challenge Tour next season after claiming the fifth and final card on offer via the PGA Europro Tour Order of Merit.
The 33-year-old finished 15th in the last event of the season, the PGA EuroPro Tour Sky Sports Tour Championship at Amendoeria Golf Resort in Portugal.
“I am absolutely delighted after just missing out last year by slipping out of the top five at the Tour Championship,” said Caldwell who represented GB&I alongside Rory McIlroy at the Walker Cup in 2007 at Royal County Down.
“I’m delighted to get the job just about done. I tried to focus on my golf because there were so many guys in contention, all I could do was focus on myself. The support for me has been fantastic, I’ve had a solid year and I feel I’m ready to take it a step further onto the Challenge Tour.”
Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy finished fifth in Portugal which was good enough for eighth place on the Order of Merit. Niall Kearney ended the tournament in a tie for third, finishing the season 11th in the rankings.
The tournament was won by Englishman Adam Chapman who fired a final round 71 to win by three shots. The winning cheque of £22,540 saw Chapman jump from 54th in the rankings into third place and secured him a place in Challenge Tour next season.

Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama adds Dubai Duty Free Irish Open to schedule

June 11, 2017

JAPANESE superstar Hideki Matsuyama will make his first appearance at a regular European Tour event when the world number four tees it up at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation from July 6-9.
The 25-year-old has become one of the hottest properties in the game following three victories on the US PGA Tour, including the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
It’s a big boost to the tournament to have another bright young talent committed to playing at Portstewart alongside two other world top 10 players in Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm.
Matsuyama is considered one of Japan’s best bets to finally make that Major Championship breakthrough.In his last seven appearances in golf’s big four, he has claimed three top tens and two more top 20 finishes, while he also finished in the top ten at both The Open Championship and US Open Championship back in his first year as a professional back in 2013.
His form has tailed off somewhat in recent months and he admitted going into the recent Memorial Tournament – where he finished tied for 45th – that, “my swing isn’t where I’d like it to be and I’m not putting very well” but he will still go into this week’s US Open as one of the favourites.
He said: “I am really looking forward to playing the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open for the first time. I have heard great things about the tournament and about the Northern Irish fans.

“It is important to play some links golf ahead of The Open Championship and I’m sure Portstewart will be the perfect preparation for me.

“I know Rory puts a lot into this tournament and he has done an incredible job raising its profile. I’m really excited and I know it will be a great week.”
Matsuyama’s compatriot Hideto Tanihara has also confirmed his participation at Portstewart, with the World Number 47 making his debut at the event having finished in a share of third at the very first Rolex Series event – the BMW PGA Championship – two weeks ago.

Tickets to see Matsuyama, Tanihara and the numerous other superstars at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation are on sale at www.dubaidutyfreeirishopen.com, and begin at £20 for Pro-Am Wednesday, with tickets for Thursday and Friday costing £40 and day tickets for the weekend costing £45.
An adult season souvenir ticket, which covers five days of world class golf from Wednesday to Sunday, costs just £100 (a saving of £90 over the course of the five days).
Concessions are available for customers aged over 60 and between 16 and 21, while children under 16 are permitted free entry when accompanied by a
ticket holding adult.
To get a full seated view of all of the drama
at the 18th green, grandstand tickets cost an additional £11.50 for Thursday and Friday, £16.50 for Saturday and £21.50 for Sunday.

 

McIlroy waits until weekend to make decision on BMW PGA Championship

May 18, 2017

Rory McIlroy won the BMW PGA Championship in 2014

Rory McIlroy will not make a decision about playing in next week’s BMW PGA Championship until early next week.
The world number two aggravated a rib injury at The Players Championship and had an MRI scan on Monday to check the extent of the damage.
“It’s just a matter of taking a bit of time to recover and rest,” said Rory speaking by phone at a DDF Irish Open preview event at Portstewart GC.
“Hopefully I will start hitting wedges by the weekend then I will be in a position to play Wentworth next week. I will only make that decision after I start hitting balls again at the weekend. Fingers crossed that I will be there but we have to wait and see at the minute.”
McIlroy confirmed that one of world golf’s most exciting young talents, John Rahm, will play in this year’s Irish Open.
The world number 12 will join defending champion McIlroy, Justin Rose and a host of the world’s top golfers at Portstewart, from July 6-9, in what will be the third of eight world class events as part of the European Tour’s new Rolex Series.
“He has already proved that he can go a long way in the game,” said Rory about the Spaniard.

“He is so young, very talented, hits the ball a mile, he is not afraid of anyone and believes in himself. He has all the attributes to be a major winner.”

Jon Rahm

Rahm has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past 12 months, bursting onto the professional scene with six top 25 finishes in nine starts on the PGA Tour last season before his breakthrough win in the Farmers Insurance Open in January.
He became a European Tour member at the start of March after breaking into the world’s top 50, and finished tied third on his first start in the WGC-Mexico Championship before reaching the final of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, where he took World Number One Dustin Johnson to last hole.
“I have some great memories as a kid watching the Spanish players competing in the big European Tour events on TV and it will be special to be able to now play in them myself,” said the 22-year-old.
“Obviously Seve, José Maria and Sergio have all won the Irish Open over the years, so it will be great to try and follow in their footsteps at Portstewart. Also, I’m really pleased to support Rory and everything he is trying to do for the event through his Foundation.
“The Rolex Series is a fantastic idea on the European Tour and I’m looking forward to being a part of it. I’m also looking forward to playing a different style of golf on the links of Portstewart which will be valuable preparation for The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale as well.”

Olympic champion Justin Rose set for Irish Open

April 25, 2017


Olympic Champion Justin Rose has added his name to the list of world-class stars lining up to play in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Portstewart Golf Club from July 6-9.
The Englishman will be playing in Northern Ireland for the first time in his professional career. His last Irish Open appearance was back in 2010 at Killarney when Ross Fisher claimed the title.
The 36-year-old finished tied for 44th in Co Kerry but has since become a Major Champion – winning the 2013 US Open – as well as securing Olympic Gold at the Rio 2016 Games.
The nine-time European Tour winner came agonisingly close to a second Major title at the recent Masters Tournament, losing out to Sergio Garcia in a play-off at Augusta National.

That impressive performance came on the back of a solid opening five months of the season that included a second place finish at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Tickets to watch Rose attempt to dethrone the reigning champion and home hero Rory McIlroy can be purchased at http://www.dubaidutyfreeirishopen.com
“I haven’t played the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open for a while so I’m excited about going back,” said Rose, currently ranked eighth in the world.
“With Rory’s involvement the last couple of years the event has gone from strength to strength and being part of the Rolex Series will give it an even bigger boost.
“Irish fans are always a lot of fun to play in front of, it’s always good ‘craic’ out there! We’ll all enjoy the tournament and it’s obviously great preparation for The Open Championship too.
“I think it’s very good to get some links golf under your belt before The Open. Playing the Scottish Open the week before is a great idea and also playing two weeks before is great because you can have a week before to fine tune.

“The fact that we have these options running into The Open is fantastic and they are top quality events which will hopefully attract not just the top European players, but maybe some players from across the pond in the USA as well.”

Tickets for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation are on sale at http://www.dubaidutyfreeirishopen.com, and begin at £20 for Pro-Am Wednesday, with tickets for Thursday and Friday costing £40 and day tickets for the weekend costing £45.
An adult season souvenir ticket, which covers five days of world class golf from Wednesday to Sunday, costs just £100 (a saving of £90 over the course of the five days).
Concessions are available for customers aged over 60 and between 16 and 21, while children under 16 are permitted free entry when accompanied by a ticket holding adult.
To get a full seated view of all of the drama at the 18th green, grandstand tickets cost an additional £11.50 for Thursday and Friday, £16.50 for Saturday and £21.50 for Sunday.
Official Hospitality packages are also available on the ticketing page, or alternatively contact the European Tour’s dedicated Hospitality Sales Team, who will be happy to answer any queries and discuss the various hospitality options, on enquiries@europeantourhospitality.com or +44 (0) 1344 840681.

The clock is ticking, don’t miss out, grab your tickets for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

March 28, 2017

The countdown has officially begun and with only 100 days left until the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, hosted by the Rory Foundation tees off at Portstewart, Tourism NI is urging fans to book their tickets and accommodation now to avoid disappointment later.
With confirmation that former winners Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry will be lining up alongside Rory McIlroy at this year’s tournament, Tourism NI Director of Events and Business Support Aine Kearney is urging fans to book their tickets now before it’s too late.
Aine said, “Following the success of the Irish Open in 2012 (Royal Portrush) and 2015 (Royal Co Down) with the support of the European Tour and the Rory Foundation we are gearing up for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open 2017 to be the biggest and best Irish Open yet. Tens of thousands of tickets have already been sold, with only 100 days to go to the tournament and with big names still to be announced we are confident this event will sell out.

“The potential of golf tourism is huge with the average golf visitor spending over £1700 per trip. Tourism NI wants to grow total revenue from golf tourism from £32 million to £50 million by 2020 and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is the perfect opportunity to showcase our world class golf courses to golfing audiences around the world.”

Aine Kearney, Tourism NI Director of Business Support and Events and Simon Alliss, Irish Open Championship Director, put in some practice at Portstewart Golf Club

Expectations are high that upwards of 100,000 spectators will attend the tournament at Portstewart Golf Club from the 6th to the 9th July.
Simon Alliss, the European Tour’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Championship Director, said: “The countdown is really now on for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in July and there are a host of exciting announcements to be made in the coming weeks and months.
“So we would urge golf fans across the island of Ireland to get booking as we have already had two sell-out Irish Opens on Northern Irish soil and we expect this one to be no different.
“A percentage of all ticket sales go to the Rory Foundation to help make children’s lives better, so all those purchasing tickets will also be contributing to a great cause.”
The Rory Foundation today announced that Sport Changes Life will be the primary beneficiary of this year’s tournament.
Sport Changes Life work in disadvantaged communities in Northern Ireland to help young people find a path to a brighter future with the help of international student-athletes, the Victory Scholars.
The money raised by the Rory Foundation for Sport Changes Life will go towards their eHoops programme. eHoops is a 24 week programme designed for teenagers aged between 14 and 19 years of age.
The programme is created to mentor young people through difficult times in their lives and address social issues of concern with the aim to help the young people with their education, job search, health and mental well-being through the aid of the Victory Scholars.
Sport Changes Life are currently aiming to establish the programme in Coleraine, Ballymena, Portrush, Londonderry and Belfast.
Other charities in the region who will also benefit, will be announced over the coming months.

For more information please visit https://www.discovernorthernireland.com/irish-open-2017/
To buy tickets to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation please visithttp://dubaidutyfreeirishopen.com/

Olympian Stephanie Meadow faces 2017 with renewed confidence

January 12, 2017
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.”