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Olivia Mehaffey's extended stay at university a 'silver lining' after professional dream put on hold

 

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Olivia Mehaffey

Olivia Mehaffey

Olivia Mehaffey

County Down golfer Olivia Mehaffey will return to Arizona State University for her fifth year as a Sun Devil after being granted exceptional eligibility by the NCAA due to the coronavirus.

Mehaffey was due to leave Arizona State this summer and turn professional after four years with the college, only to see both the remainder of the NCAA season and this year's LPGA Q-Series, which allows golfers to qualify to compete on the LPGA Tour, cancelled due to Covid-19.

With her route to the top level of women's golf blocked temporarily, Mehaffey has instead accepted the NCAA's exceptional eligibility ruling which has granted her the opportunity to play one more season with the Sun Devils while trying to earn a Master's degree in organisational leadership.

"It's been a roller coaster for the past few weeks, just not knowing what's ahead," Mehaffey told the Golf Channel. "The way I look at it is I was very lucky; I had two great options. And it could also end up being a silver lining. It was going to be quite difficult to get sponsors. Maybe it's a good thing to wait for another year."

By remaining an amateur, Mehaffey will also be able to compete in the rescheduled Curtis Cup and will get one more opportunity to try and win the NCAA Championship.

Belfast Telegraph