Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Young Player of the Year - Olivia Mehaffey

Nothing stops Northern Ireland's teenage golfing sensation Olivia Mehaffey. Not even a bout of glandular fever. Early in 2016, the young Banbridge woman was unable to compete due to the illness but she insisted on having a putting mat placed in her bedroom so she could practice for a short period each day on her way to full fitness.

In April the gifted amateur golfer was playing again, winning the Ladies Irish Stroke Play event by eight shots. That was followed by another victory at the Welsh Ladies Open, as she defended her title.

The triumphs kept on coming with Olivia first in the Irish Ladies Close Championship.

These confidence boosting successes set her up perfectly for the Curtis Cup where the Royal County Down member was the star turn for GB and Ireland against the USA. Mehaffey was in brilliant form inspiring her team to a shock victory.

The fine performances continued later in the year as she took up a golf scholarship in Arizona State University.

This is a lady with fierce determination to match her talent and while 2016 was an exceptional year for Olivia, you get the feeling she will achieve more success in years to come.