ROYAL County Down golfer Danielle McVeigh is confident about making the step up to professional golf this year after winning the Irish Women’s Close Championship at Carlow GC yesterday.
McVeigh showed tremendous self-belief to beat Karen Delaney of Carlow on the 19th, having trailed by four after seven holes.
Having overhauled the deficit after eight holes, McVeigh again made life difficult for herself, giving Delaney a two-hole lead with two to play. But she held her nerve to sink a massive pressure putt on 18 and take the game to the 19th.
At this stage, she said the momentum had swung her way: “I had just won 17 and 18 and held a great putt on the last which must have been at least 15 feet so I was pumped up after that. To win was a bit unexpected having been four down for a while, but I just put the head down and hit some good shots at key times.
“The conditions were very tough so I knew I didn’t need to birdie every hole.”
Crowned Irish junior golfer of the year back in 2005, professional golf was always a realistic goal and McVeigh sees this victory as the latest stepping stone on that path.
“This victory is the icing on the cake because I haven’t been able to play in the championship for five years. It has put me in good stead for the next few amateur events like the British Matchplay.
“I think I’m in a great position to turn professional. I’ve ticked all the boxes coming through. I’ve grown up and my golf game has matured ever single year.”
With the likes of Michael Hoey and Graeme McDowell in rich form, McVeigh is one of many Northern Irish golfers currently making headlines.
“Players like Mcllroy and McDowell are really good role models for me,” she said. “It helps me to keep believing in myself, which is key.”