Successful year for Stephanie Meadow takes her to LPGA event

Northern Irish golfer jumps 62 places in the updated world rankings – up to 126th spot

 Stephanie Meadow: ‘It’s not just me, there’s a huge team behind me.’ File photograph: Getty

Stephanie Meadow: ‘It’s not just me, there’s a huge team behind me.’ File photograph: Getty

Your Web Browser may be out of date. If you are using Internet Explorer 9, 10 or 11 our Audio player will not work properly.
For a better experience use Google Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

 

All through the year, the journey’s destination point – the when and where of it – was uncertain; except, now, Stephanie Meadow knows that it will definitely take her all the way to the LPGA Tour Championship in Naples, Florida, next month. That alone makes it a successful year for the 28-year-old, for only the tour’s leading players off the order of merit make it that far.

“Gosh, at one point in the year I didn’t know if I was going to get into this event,” said Meadow of the Pelican Championship, where she manufactured a season’s-best finish of third, behind Sei Young Kim. “Things have been so fluctuating, [you] think your season is over until March or end of February and, then, all of a sudden, you get two more at least, which is great.”

Meadow’s top-10 finish in the Pelican Championship earned her a place in the upcoming Volunteers of America Championship in Dallas (she was previously third on the reserve list) and, even more importantly, also guaranteed her place in the season-ending CME Globe Tour Championship which I confined to the leading 60 players on the merit list. Meadow jumped to 35th (from 59th) following her third place finish.

With no tournament on the schedule this week due to the Thanksgiving celebrations stateside, Meadow – who jumped 62 places in the updated world rankings up to 126th spot – can take a little time out to recharge the batteries and get ready for the big-money late-season schedule that has materialised. “Just have a nice week at Thanksgiving, [then] get back on the grind,” she said.

“I’m really pleased, I think a lot of hard work is paying off. It’s not just me, there’s a huge team behind me. My fiance, Kyle. My coaches, Terry , Debby, my sports psych. Golf is one of those things where you always feel like you can do better, but I’m pretty satisfied with where I am right now . . . sometimes you get the confidence and you know you can do it, and you just have to keep the pedal to the metal basically,” said Meadow, from Jordanstown in Co Antrim.

Stephanie Meadow hits her tee shot on the 13th hole during the final round of the Pelican Women’s Championship at Pelican Golf Club on November 22nd in Florida. File photograph: Getty
Stephanie Meadow hits her tee shot on the 13th hole during the final round of the Pelican Women’s Championship at Pelican Golf Club on November 22nd in Florida. File photograph: Getty

Meadow had dropped to 245th in the world rankings at one point this year. But her upward trajectory has taken her to 126th and headed onwards to that event at the Volunteers of America in Dallas which has good memories, as she finished tied-ninth there last year which secured her full LPGA Tour card for 2020 and the disruptive season it turned out to be due to Covid-19.

Wild-card picks for Solheim Cup

But that upward trajectory in the world rankings will provide momentum heading on to 2021, which is an Olympics and Solheim Cup year. Meadow is assured of joining Leona Maguire on the Team Ireland ticket to Tokyo, while qualifying for the European team for the Solheim Cup has been restructured so that team captain Caitríona Matthew will have six wild-card picks to go with the four who qualify off the Rolex world rankings and two who make it from the Ladies European Tour points list.

That Solheim Cup is due to take place at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, and Meadow and Maguire will be looking to become the first Irish players to make the European team.

Originally, the qualifying system would have seen three players make it off the LET list and five from the Rolex rankings points list with four captain’s picks. The increase from four wild cards to six gives players a chance to impress Matthew. “We just felt with the players not playing as much, and all the schedules being up in the air, that it was just nice to do that and give a bit more options going forward next year,” said the Scot of the changes to qualifying.

Meadow’s third place finish in the Pelican Championship and upward movement in the world rankings will have put her on Matthew’s radar.

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.