Olivia Mehaffey and Tom McKibbin make the cut at World Invitational

Mehaffey, just weeks into her professional career, shot a 72 for 142 to be tied-26th

Olivia Mehaffey during the ISPS Handa World Invitational at Galgorm Castle. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Olivia Mehaffey during the ISPS Handa World Invitational at Galgorm Castle. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

 

Olivia Mehaffey, who enjoyed a standout collegiate career in the United States, and Tom McKibbin, still a teenager who fast-tracked a route into the professional ranks, continued to make the most of their sponsor’s exemptions into the ISPS Handa World Invitational in successfully making the cut in the unique event, with separate women’s and men’s tournaments.

While American Emma Talley led the way in the women’s event - co-sanctioned on the LPGA Tour and the LET - in adding a second 65 to her opening 67 to reach the midpoint on 13-under-par 132, Mehaffey, just weeks into her professional career, shot a 72 for 142 to be in tied-26th place.

“I love this game and very passionate about it, and since I was six years old I’ve wanted this, so I’m telling myself to really enjoy it and truly generally enjoy every single moment. It doesn’t feel like work so far. I’m just loving being out there. I’m excited for the future.

“I feel like my game has been trending nicely the past few years. I’ve had a very good amateur career, and it’s been a while coming,” said Mehaffey, who plans on playing stateside for the rest of the season in then aiming to secure a LPGA card at Q-School later this year.

In the men’s event, New Zealander Daniel Hillier - in just his seventh outing on the European Tour - claimed the halfway lead with a stunning 62 for a 36-holes total of 129 where McKibbin, just 18 years of age, led the home contingent in signing for a 69 for 136.

The highlight of McKibbin’s round was a chip-in eagle on the Par 5 10th at Galgorm Castle and he also finally got the better of the 18th, with a birdie. “It’s nice to have made it through to the weekend. I’ve come into this week with a lot of confidence and I’m just trying to play my game,” he said.

Leading scores

Men’s

129 - Daniel Hillier (NZ) 67 62

130 - Jordan Smith (Eng) 62 68

132 - Garrick Porteous (Eng) 68 64, David Horsey (Eng) 67 65

133 - Matthias Schmid (Ger) 64 67, Carlos Pigem (Sp) 70 63, Nacho Elvira (Sp) 66 67, Eddie Pepperell (Eng) 66 67

Irish (made cut)

136 - Tom McKibbin 67 69

138 - Simon Thornton 70 68, Dermot McElroy 72 66

140 - Niall Kearney 69 71

Women’s

132 - Emma Talley (USA) 67 65

135 - Chella Choi (SKor) 66 69, Jennifer Kupcho (USA) 66 69

136 - Charley Hull (Eng) 68 68, Gemma Dryburgh (Scot) 66 70

137 - Min Seo Kwak (SKor) 67 70

Irish (made cut)

142 - Olivia Mehaffey 70 72

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.