Posts Tagged ‘Stephanie Meadow’

Magical Maguire claims Ladies British Amateur Championship title

June 18, 2017

Leona Maguire with the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship trophy and the Pam Barton Memorial Salver

Leona Maguire cemented her place at the top of the amateur world rankings with victory in the 114th Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship at Pyle & Kenfig.
The 22-year-old beat Spain’s Ainhoa Olarra 3&2 in the 18-hole final on the South Wales coast to seal the biggest amateur win of her career.
The Duke University student will now take her place in US Women’s Open next month and the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns, near St Andrews, in August.
The Irish international follows in the footsteps of Stephanie Meadow, who defeated Spain’s Rocio Sanchez Lobato 4&3 at Carnoustie in 2012. Both Leona and Stephanie represented Ireland at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
“It’s been a fantastic week and I’ve played some really great golf. It’s a real highlight of my career to have won the championship,” said Leona.
“It’s one of the biggest amateur events and one that I felt I hadn’t given as good a go as I could have done in the past few years. It’s great to get my name on the trophy alongside some of the biggest names.

“Ainhoa played really great golf and she pushed me all the way to the end. I knew I was going to have to play well. She threw all the birdies she could at me and I was glad I was able to rise to it.”

Leona made a flying start after dispatching a birdie opportunity on the first but the match returned to all-square on the following hole, Olarra saving par while Maguire struggled with a bogey.
Maguire found herself behind, remarkably for the first time in the championship’s entire match play stage, after Olarra, who won the Spanish Amateur Championship in 2013, picked up a birdie on the third to move 1 up.The South Carolina University scholar saw her lead pulled back immediately when Maguire fought back with a birdie to win the fourth and was powerless to stop the Curtis Cup representative regaining control of the contest on the fifth after she rolled in a birdie on the par-five to take a one hole advantage.

Maguire, who recently won the Annika Award for the second time in her career, strengthened her position even further after winning the seventh and ninth to go three up but Olarra reduced the deficit at the 10th.
Nevertheless, the three-hole gap was restored on the 11th when the two-time McCormack Medal winner notched up her fifth birdie of the round and the Duke University student remained steady with a par on the 12th to go four up after her Spanish opponent could only manage a bogey.
Olarra refused to throw in the towel and the youngster from San Sabastian halted Maguire’s momentum by winning two of the next three holes, producing a vital birdie on the 15th.
The match was decided on the following hole, however. Olarra had struggled with her putting throughout the match and a bogey on the 16th left Maguire with a par putt to win the championship which she duly rolled in for a 3&2 victory.
In the morning’s semi-finals, Maguire defeated Finland’s Anna Backman 3&2 to secure her passage to the final. Olarra closed out her match with Norway’s Stina Resen on the par-three 15th, rolling in a birdie putt to seal a 4&3 win.
Maguire’s win capped an excellent Championship for Ireland which saw Paula Grant (Lisburn) to lead qualifying. Five Irish players made it through to the match-play stages.

Advertisements

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.”

Stephanie Meadow never gave up hope of playing for Ireland at Rio Olympics

August 5, 2016
Stephanie Meadow

Stephanie Meadow

At first she was going, and then it looked like she would miss out, but golfer Stephanie Meadow never lost hope that she would represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics.
Having failed to make it via the automatic qualifying route, luck was on Stephanie’s side when the Dutch Olympic Committee withdrew their two competitors handing the 24-year-old a welcome reprieve.
“I was definitely disappointed when I missed out initially,” said the Co Antrim born golfer who now resides in America at Hilton Head Island.
“I kept looking at the rankings and I’d fall out and then be back in again. I kind of had a bit more hope than usual that I would get in as an alternative.
“People had been dropping out because of Zika and I heard the Netherland girls had some issues with their Federation so I kind of thought ‘it’s not over yet’ and I heard some more rumours about the Dutch girls and then I got the phone call from Paul McGinley which was great.”
Irish captain McGinley has been a constant source of information and reassurance for Stephanie during the bumpy process to Rio.
“I have been talking to him regularly for the best part of 18 months and we even played golf during the off season,” added Stephanie.
“He’s Paul McGinley, he loves team events, he so enthusiastic and excited and I think that has rubbed off on the rest of us.

“He gets everything done that needs to be done, he keeps us informed and he’s been really good about telling us what the course will be like in Rio and what we need to be practicing.”

On course it’s been a difficult season for Stephanie who hasn’t a full card on the LPGA and is mixing appearances on the second tier Symetra Tour, with Monday qualifying for LPGA events.
However, in recent months there has been signs of improvement and a return to the type of form that saw her finish third in the 2014 US Women’s Open.
It all means she’s heading to Rio on August the 12th with renewed confidence in her game and a determination to savour the experience – Zika risk and all.
“At the beginning Zika was blown out of proportion a little bit and people were freaking out but when you sit down and look at the facts it’s not as bad as it seems and you can take precautions and deal with it if it does happen,” added Stephanie.
“I’m going to stay in the Olympic Village – I never considered doing anything else – it should be a lot of fun.”
Padraig Harrington and Seamus Power will be representing Ireland in the men’s golf tournament from 11-14 August
Stephanie will jet into Rio on the 12th and will meet up with her team mate, Leona Maguire.
The women’s event runs from the 17-20 August.

Selfridge looking to reach next level via Challenge Tour route

February 26, 2016
chris_selfridge_1

Chris Selfridge

With the start of the Challenge Tour season just three weeks away, Chris Selfridge has taken himself off to Spain for a short pre-season shake-down.
The 23-year-old is trying to shake off the competitive rust by playing in a couple of Evolve Pro Tour events. He finished tied for fifth at the Hacienda Riquelme Open on Tuesday and declared himself happy with his progress.
“I was actually pleasantly surprised how it went for my first competitive round,” he said.
“I came out here with the intention of getting sharp but I felt pretty good, certainly a lot better than this time last week when I was practicing at home.”
The Moyola man found his feet very quickly as a professional golfer last year. He played in 12 events on the Challenge Tour and made 12 cuts, easily securing his playing rights for the 2016 season.
He travelled on to the Euro Tour Q-School and looked set to earn his tour card before a wrist injury forced him out before the final round.
“I suffered a bit of ligament damage and I definitely couldn’t play,” continued Chris who has added a caddy, Gavin McCreedy, to his ‘team’ this year.
“It was bad timing in that it was at Q-School but you could also consider it good timing as it happened at a time of the year when I could rest it.
“It needed some treatment but there’s no issues now and I’m ready to start in Kenya next month.

“I’m going to concentrate fully on the Challenge Tour this year, play in all the events and try to make my way onto the main tour that way.

“I probably could get a couple of starts on the Euro tour with my category but I don’t think there is any point in doing that. The only one I would love to play in is the Irish Open at the K Club. I have never played in an Irish Open even as an amateur.”
The one thing missing in 2015 was a win, or even a run of top 10 finishes and Chris admits that’s an area he will have to improve on if he wants to make that step up from the Challenge Tour to the European Tour via the Order of Merit.
“My best finish last year was ninth but you really need a number of top five finishes,” he added.
“I had six top 20s out of my 12 events. That’s very good, very steady but I played well in the odd event, shot 12-16 under and at the end of the week I’d actually moved down the Order of Merit because those people finishing in the top 10 moved past me.
“It sounds daft but you would almost be better missing the odd cut if you managed to finish inside the top five when you did play on the weekend simply because the difference between fifth and 10th is so significant in terms of prize money.”
Chris is one of 12 professional golfers who have received funding through the Team Ireland golf scheme. The total budget for Team Ireland Golf in 2016 is €200,000. The funding for the scheme is provided by Sport Ireland.
The budget includes allocations for the GUI Academy and for the ILGU and GUI Performance Managers who work with the golfers on the scheme. The budget also includes funding for the Irish Challenge event at Mount Wolseley, which will be held from 8-11 September.
The two largest allocations in 2016 will go to Paul Dunne and Stephanie Meadow, both of whom will receive €20,000 in funding. Meadow will be competing primarily on the Symetra Tour, which is a developmental tour for the LPGA Tour.
She made an incredible start to her professional career in 2014 when she secured a third place finish at the US Women’s Open and will hope to qualify for the Olympics this August.
Stephanie said: “I am so thankful for the continued support of Team Ireland. Their support allows me to train at the highest possible level and prepare to the best of my ability for the season. I am proud to be a part of team Ireland.”
Team Ireland Grant Allocations – Paul Dunne, Stephanie Meadow, Kevin Phelan, Chris Selfridge, Ruaidhri McGee, Gary Hurley, Gavin Moynihan, Cormac Sharvin, Brian Casey, Alan Dunbar, Jeff Hopkins, Reeve Whitson

 

Mehaffey commits to college golf with Arizona State

November 6, 2014
Olivia Mehaffey (pic by Pat Cashman)

Olivia Mehaffey (pic by Pat Cashman)

Irish International, Olivia Mehaffey, has committed to playing college golf in America as she plots a way into the professional ranks and hopefully onto the LPGA.
The 17-year-old from Banbridge will follow a path worn by the likes of Graeme McDowell and Stephanie Meadow when she enrols at Arizona State University in autumn 2016.
“I considered a few colleges, Mississippi State for one, but ASU had the edge the whole way,” said the reigning Irish Girls’ Strokeplay champion.
“The University has really good practice facilities and the weather is usually very good all year round. ASU also compete in the PAC-12 conference which means I’ll be playing against some of the best college players in the country.”
Olivia was also swayed by the presence of coach Melissa Luellen at ASU.
“I spoke to her a lot and she came to watch me at the Home Internationals,” added Olivia.

“She used to play on the LPGA so she has been there and done it all. She knows what it’s like.”

Olivia has been weighing up her options for almost 18 months and spoke to Meadow at some length about the ‘ins and outs’ of making a move to America during the Vagliano Trophy matches last year.
Stephanie enjoyed a stellar amateur career in America at the University of Alabama. The Jordanstown born golfer played on two Curtis Cup teams before turning professional in June, finishing third at the U.S. Women’s Open in her first pro start.
“For me, I think there will be less distractions in that type [college] of environment,” added Olivia.
“You’re focused on your golf and school so you are always busy.”
In the meantime, Olivia has the best part of two years to make some improvements while completing a sports science course at the Southern Regional College in Newry.
She joined other members of the Ireland High Performance panel at The Heritage over the weekend for a planning session and has already made some decisions about next year.
“The highlights of the season included playing in a Ladies Euro Tour event in Morocco http://bit.ly/13Nx84a, retaining my Stroke play title at Roganstown and competing in the world championships in Canada, but overall I wasn’t very happy,” she added.
“I started the season well but it wasn’t so good during and after my GCSE exams. I think overall I played too much so ideally I’d like to cut my schedule from 24 to 16 events to make sure I get enough time to practice and rest.
“We have the winter schedule worked out now and I’m going to be doing a lot of gym work alongside a bit of work on the swing.
“Things are a bit clearer now, I like where it’s going.”

Meadow moving on from US Open heroics at ISPS Handa European Masters

July 2, 2014

451004330
Fresh from her eye-catching performance at the US Women’s Open, Stephanie Meadow will make her competitive bow in Europe at the ISPA Handa European Masters on Thursday.
Meadow, who hails from Jordanstown, finished third at Pinehurst, a remarkable performance on her professional debut, but she is trying to focus on the future and Thursday’s opening round at the Buckinghamshire GC.
“Just to be a pro is really exciting but I take a lot of confidence from the US Open,” said the 22-year-old who moved to America with her family some eight years ago.
“It’s one thing when you have a good week but you have to ground yourself again and remember to do your drills and all the stuff that makes you good. You’ve got to think about the new tournament and forget about last week.
“The greens are a lot easier here. It’s a birdie course whereas Pinehurst was more pars so I’m just getting back to attacking the pins again and getting used to the yardages.
“It’s a little colder over here as well so the ball goes a little shorter. Other than that, it’s just quite an American style golf course so it’s pretty easy to adjust.

“I’m just going to stick to my game and see how I can do. That’s what I did last week. Obviously my game’s good so I have to see where that leaves me in the end.”

A member at Royal Portrush, Stephanie has been paired with young English star Charley Hull and the amateur phenomenon Minjee Lee for the opening two rounds.
“I know Charley as I played with her in the Curtis Cup in 2012 but I haven’t seen her in a while,” added Stephanie.
“In fact, I haven’t seen her this week yet. And Minjee Lee I’ve played with a few times and she’s a good player so I think it’s fun that they can put a good pairing out like that and hopefully we can put on a good show.”
Stephanie is still trying to finalise her schedule for the rest of the season and will be relying on tournament invites however, the former University of Alabama golfer has already pencilled in July 7  and Ricoh Women’s British Open Final Qualifying at Southport & Ainsdale.

Meadow confronted with Olympic question after Pinehurst heroics

June 24, 2014

451004330
This may seem faintly ridiculous but Stephanie Meadow somehow found herself answering questions about her Olympic intentions following that superb third place finish in the US Women’s Open on Sunday.
The 22-year-old, making her professional debut at Pinehurst, barely had time to savour the moment before the dreaded Olympic question reared it’s ugly head less than a week after Rory McIlroy revealed his own intentions to represent Ireland if selected in 2016.
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/06/18/sport/golf/golf-rory-mcilroy-ireland-olympics/

Q. Last week Rory made a very difficult decision regarding who to represent, you’re faced with the same decision. Have you any thoughts?
STEPHANIE MEADOW: I have no idea. I have no idea as of yet.

Q.Can you appreciate how difficult that was for him?
STEPHANIE MEADOW: Um-hum.

Q. We in the United States don’t understand how, what that’s like.
STEPHANIE MEADOW: It’s weird, because growing up Rory and I all played — like Ireland is an all Ireland — our golf is an all Ireland sport. So we grew up playing for Ireland. There was never a Northern Ireland team or we didn’t play for U.K., so it is very difficult and I’ll just are to wait. I haven’t even thought about that decision yet.

Considering the fact that Stephanie was playing her first professional event, currently has no status on the LPGA and will be relying on invites into tournaments, the Olympics probably seem a long way away for the former University of Alabama student.
However, given the agonies Rory went through and the mistakes he made before making a decision, it may be sensible for Stephanie to answer the question sooner rather than later because if she continues to perform as she did at Pinehurst, she’ll be a shoe in for Rio.
In simple terms, Stephanie’s display at Pinehurst may well go down in history as the finest performance by any Irish golfer on professional debut.
To try and put the whole thing into some type of context, it’s worth noting that only Wie finished the tournament under par, a measure of just how difficult the course was playing.
And just for the record, Tiger Woods made his professional debut in August 1996 at the Greater Milwaukee Open tying for 60th place while Rory McIlroy, finished tied for 42nd on his pro debut at the Quinn Direct British Masters in September 2007.
“It’s been amazing. I couldn’t have pictured a better way to start my professional career. It’s pretty much a dream come true,” said Stephanie.
“Everyone wants to win. But I was just trying to take it one shot at a time. Out here you can’t get too aggressive because aggressive plays are going to end in doubles. As much as you want it you have to kind of say, all right, 20 feet right is good.

“I always believed that I could do it [contend in a major]. Honestly, the amount of hours that I’ve put in, that’s what I’ve been working for. So to see all that pay off was really amazing. But to do it on my first week and to have enough confidence to keep going, I’m proud of myself for doing that.”

Originally from Jordanstown, the Meadow family upped sticks and moved to America some eight years ago specifically to help Stephanie’s progression as a golfer.
An Irish amateur representative from an early age, she flourished playing for the University of Alabama, winning numerous individual honours and going on to represent GB&I in two Curtis Cups.
“This whole experience is only going to make me work harder. Obviously, I didn’t win, there’s still people beating me and I’m competitive, so I want to try and win Majors some day.

“So I’m going to go back and work hard. If you’re a competitive person, this is a driving force, you do well and you want more. So that’s what I’m going to do,” added Stephanie who insisted she was ‘Northern Irish’ at heart.

Stephanie only officially turned professional on June 22 with no guarantee of regular starting berths on the LPGA circuit but the outlook has changed significantly following her efforts at Pinehurst.
By finishing third, she earned $271,373 and moved up 506 places to 113 on the world rankings, it should mean that she gets the invites she needs.
She continued; “I mean this is the biggest stage in golf it’s the U.S. Open. But I wasn’t really thinking about that. I just came out here and this is what I’ve dreamed of for so long to turn pro, to start at a U.S. Open, it’s great.
“My schedule is just kind of up in the air. Obviously I don’t have any status as of yet, so I just have to wait and see. I know I’m in one Symmetra Tour event, I’ll probably try and Monday qualify for the rest of the year.”

Meadow grabs chance to shine at US Open

June 21, 2014

stephanie meadow
Stephanie Meadow looks manor born to the professional game.
The 22-year-old, who only turned pro last Sunday, finds herself tied for third going into the final round of the US Women’s Open at Pinehurst.
“I think having played in two Majors [as an amateur] before has helped me out a lot,” said Stephanie, who grew up in Jordanstown, Co Antrim.

“I’m kind of used to the big environment and the crowds and everything that goes along with a U.S. Open. Yeah, it’s different, but I’ve worked my whole life to do this. I’m doing my thing.”

On two over par, Meadow is four shots behind leaders Amy Yang and Michelle Wie and enjoying her first taste of life in the pro ranks.
“I hit the ball really well today, yeah, pretty much all day. I struggled a little bit coming in with putting speed. But it’s a U.S. Open, everybody is going to make mistakes,” said Stephanie.
“Overall, I’m really happy with how I played and I’m just going to work on different things and get ready for tomorrow.
“The crowd has been great out here, very supportive. It’s nice to hear cheers when you make putts. It’s just fun. I love playing golf. I love to be out here and this is the stage to do it in.”
Meadow only made it into the tournament as an alternative following regional and national qualifying but she has grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
She continued; “To start my professional career here is so amazing. I’m so blessed that it happened. It’s awesome.
“I didn’t really have expectations, I just wanted to go out and see where I was.
“I knew I was playing well. I work with Vision 54 and my coach, Nick Potter, and my dad, who is also my coach, we all talked about what I wanted to do and the main thing was just be myself and play my game and I knew that my game could be up here against the best in the world and I’ve proven that.”

 

Meadow on turning professional – ‘It’s the right time’

June 16, 2014
stephanie meadow
As professional debuts go, Stephanie Meadow’s decision to make her bow at Pinehurst in the US Women’s Open will be hard to top.
The 22-year-old, originally from Jordanstown, takes her first steps this week as a fully paid up member of the pro ranks at the iconic venue in North Carolina.
After a stellar amateur career, one that included two Curtis Cup appearances, Meadow feels the ‘time is right’.
“I have completed my degree at the University of Alabama and it’s the perfect moment to come here and make this my first event,” said Meadow who moved with her entire family to the United States as a 14-year-old.
“This is the right time and I am definitely ready. I have waited a long time for this moment.”
When the Meadow family made the decision to emigrate to America some eight years ago it was probably considered something of a risky move but, rather like Graeme McDowell, Stephanie flourished in the Collegiate system, winning numerous awards.
A member of Royal Portrush Ladies, Stephanie has already played in a US Open as an amateur, at the 2012 staging at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wisconsin and is in something of a hurry to get going as a professional.
“I am just excited to be a professional, I have dreamed about it for so long,” she added.
“To finally get it organised, to wake up and be able to say, ‘I am a professional’, was great.
“As regards the US Open, at the end of the day, it is still golf course, a ball and a hole.  You could say there is more pressure now that I am a professional but I have worked for this moment for a long time.
“I am just going to enjoy it. My dreams are more than simply playing on the LPGA Tour. They are to win Majors and stuff, but over the next few weeks and months I want to try and learn as much as I can and get better every week.”

Meadow had indicated that the Curtis Cup [at the start of June] would be her last event as an amateur but the official announcement was delayed by on-going administrative efforts to get her visa extended.
The issue has had a knock-on effect on her ability to make concrete plans involving signing contracts etc, but she is hopeful the matter will be wrapped up in a couple of weeks.
As it is, the planning process for the weeks after the US Open continues with Stephanie looking to sort out a schedule of events.
“It is very flexible at the minute,” she added.
“I will try and Monday qualify as often as I can for LPGA events and I also have an exemption into Symetra Tour event in August.
“I have written to a number of events in the hope of getting an invite.  A lot of them haven’t made any decisions yet so it is really a case of waiting to see.
“I don’t think I will be playing much in Europe. I will focus on America and go to Q-School in the States.
“That’s the plan at the moment, but it could change. I have entered the final qualifying for the Women’s British Open at Royal Birkdale next month, but I will make a decision on that nearer the time.”

McIlroy wins Irish Golf Writers’ Award

January 8, 2013

rory-mcilroy-1200
RORY McIlroy has been voted ‘Professional of the Year’ in the Irish Golf Writers’ Awards for 2012.
The 23-year old from Holywood won the US PGA in record-breaking fashion at Kiawah Island in August, his second Major Championship and one of five victories he recorded worldwide in a season when he also captured the money titles on both sides of the Atlantic and became Irish golf’s first world number one.
This is McIlroy’s third time to win the ‘Professional of the Year’ award, having also won in 2009 and in 2011, when he shared the honour with Darren Clarke.
The amateur awards were also captured by Ulster golfers. Alan Dunbar of Rathmore Golf Club was voted the ‘Men’s Amateur of the Year’ following his win in the Amateur Championship at Royal Troon while Royal Portrush’s Stephanie Meadow claimed the ‘Women’s Amateur of the Year’ award following an outstanding season.
Having helped the University of Alabama to its first team national title in the NCAA Championships in Tennessee in May, Jordanstown born Stephanie secured the decisive point for Great Britain and Ireland in a dramatic Curtis Cup victory over the United States at Nairn before going on to capture Ladies British Amateur Open title at Carnoustie.
Cork-born businessman Oliver Barry, who started his career in the music industry as an impresario and concert promoter, is the recipient of the ‘Distinguished Services to Golf’ award.
Mr Barry’s vision of providing affordable and challenging golf to the people of Dublin led to the founding of Hollystown Golf Club, Ireland’s first pay and play golf course, in 1992.
The recipients will receive their awards, which have been specially designed for the Irish Golf Writers’ Association (IGWA) by Tipperary Crystal, at an Awards Dinner sponsored by Carton House Golf Club in Maynooth on January 24.