The ILGU High Performance (HP) Committee have announced that Julie McCarthy (Forrest Little) has been promoted to the High Performance Panel following her outstanding start to the 2019 season.
Originally announced on the Funded Performance Panel, McCarthy now joins Olivia Mehaffey (RCDL), Paula Grant (Lisburn), Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) and Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden) at the pinnacle of women’s amateur golf in Ireland. The panel aims to produce world-class players who consistently achieve podium finishes at international events and McCarthy’s recent form while representing Auburn University has demonstrated her hard work and dedication which the HP Committee have recognised.
McCarthy is currently ranked No. 10 nationally according to Golfstat Division 1 College Golf Rankings and finished the regular college golf season with her first individual win at the Clemson Invitational. It was there where she shot a career-low 66 (-6) in the first round and followed that with a 70 (-2) in round two to finish the tournament at 8 under. She also earned SEC Women’s Golfer of the Week honours following her performance.
But it’s not just recent form that McCarthy has shown and in fact she had six top-five finishes in the season and has shot par or better in 14 of her 25 rounds, including five rounds under 70.
McCarthy will accompany her Auburn team, ranked 13th nationally, to the NCAA National Championships later this week where Olivia Mehaffey and Arizona State will also compete. Beginning the year at 318th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) and now 90th, McCarthy was also an automatic selection for the 2019 Arnold Palmer Cup International Team to compete against the USA at The Alotian Club in June.
“Julie has proven an extremely talented player throughout her career,” remarked ILGU HP Manager David Kearney. “From dominating the girls’ golf schedule here at home to now producing results on a world stage she has confirmed to us that she is ready for the next step.”
“The HP Panel creates a process based environment which supports players to focus on the controllable as they strive to achieve excellence."
"Transparency and fluidity are important factors within the ILGU HP set-up and players should be aware that, whether currently on any Performance Panel or not, there are always opportunities for progression and a pathway to be the best that they want to be.”
With International Team selections on the horizon, ILGU players have firmly set themselves among the World’s elite. Mehaffey (17th), Annabel Wilson (73th), Paula Grant (86th) and now McCarthy (90th) sit inside the WAGR top 100 – the first time Ireland has ever had four players ranked so high.
With role models such as Stephanie Meadow and Leona Maguire also paving the way on the Professional Stage, one can only presume that the future of Irish women’s elite golf looks secure.