Lauren Walsh is gutted she can’t be home for this week’s KPMG Women’s Irish Open but she could be in the field next year as a professional golfer.
The Castlewarden star (22) is looking to get the most out of her final year at prestigious Wake Forest University and with plans to go the LPGA Q-School next year, she’s aiming for the top.
The two-time Curtis Cup star has already played in several professional events, finishing tied eighth on her debut in the 2019 ISPS Handa World Invitational and 42nd in last year’s AIG Women’s Open.
And she admits this week is huge for amateurs Olivia Costello, Kate Lanigan, Aideen Walsh, Katie Poots, Rebekah Gardner and Marina Joyce Moreno as she was inspired by her first professional start to have a standout year in the US, scorching as high as 10th in the world.
“It’s amazing to see the tournament back and it’s very exciting for Irish golf,” said Lauren, who is back in the world’s top 50 after finishing in a tie for second in last week’s ANNIKA Intercollegiate, carding a collegiate-low 66 in the second round en route to the lowest 54-hole of her college career.
“It’s devastating not to be there but it’s incredible to see it back with Leona in the field so hopefully next year I can make an appearance.
“It’s important for the Irish girls who play this week as I was fortunate enough to play in Galgorm Castle a few few years ago and that fuelled my want to get better.”
Set to graduate with a degree in mathematical business, Walsh has seen former Wake Forest stars like Jennifer Kupcho go on to win a Major and she’s aiming for the top despite having to battle for her place every week against three of the world’s top 20 in Rachel Kuehn (14th), Emilia Migliaccio (16th) and Spain’s Carolina Chacarra (20th).
“I’ve put so much into golf so I want to give the pro ranks a try. I’ll have a good degree to fall back on so I want to give it a go.”