With just over four months to go to the Curtis Cup Match at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club, excitement is building and player preparation is well underway.
The playing season has officially kicked off for everyone, with two International Championships already completed. Irish US based players have also begun their busy season.
Slieve Russell and Duke University sensation Leona Maguire, who is also world number one amateur golfer has her eyes firmly set on making the 2016 Curtis Cup team. Leona was a member of the 2010 team, with Sister Lisa and Irish companion Danielle McVeigh. She will be relishing the memory of overcoming the American side in 2012 alongside her other Irish teammate Stephanie Meadow, who turned professional in June 2014. Maguire has a busy schedule of tournaments – both amateur and professional this year, of which she hopes the Curtis Cup will be one.
Olivia Mehaffey has become a well-known name over the past number of years, with 2015 being a particularly successful year for the Royal County Down golfer. 2013, 2014 and 2015 Irish Girls Champion, 2015 Welsh, Scottish and BMW Daily Telegraph Champion – some of the accolades Mehaffey has worked hard for. She was quick off the mark for the 2016 season also, with two top five finishes at the South American and Portuguese Amateur Championships, respectively. What next for the talented youngster? Training with the Irish panel in Spain this month, followed by a busy schedule of events both home and abroad in the run up to Curtis Cup selection.
'‘Making the Curtis Cup team is my number one goal this year. I feel like my game is ready for that level and I will keep working hard towards it’.
The RCD star has an exciting year to come, with a jam packed training and playing schedule, not to mention her joining Arizona State University as part of the Sun Devils Golf Roster come September 2016.
Other Irish hopefuls include Chloe Ryan (Castletroy) who was named as first reserve on the GB&I Vagliano Trophy Team, played at Malone last year. Chloe is currently in 4th place on the LGU Order of Merit and the top two will gain automatic spots. ILGU High Performance panel members include Skerries star Maria Dunne and Paula Grant (Lisburn) who will be hoping to have an outside chance, increasingly depending on if they can secure a notable win between now and the team announcement date on 28th April 2016 at 2pm. The remaining spots will be made up of six players – the top four GB&I players in the world golf rankings and two other players will be chosen by the Selection Panel to complete Captain Elaine Farquharson-Black’s line-up.