Olivia Mehaffey: NI golfer to compete in Augusta National Championship for second time

is on a scholarship at Arizona State University
Mehaffey is on a golf scholarship at Arizona State University

Northern Ireland golfer Olivia Mehaffey has received an invitation to compete in the Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship for a second time.

The County Down woman will return to compete at the Georgia course in April.

The event is played across two venues, with the full field of 72 players competing in the first two rounds at the Champions Retreat Golf Club.

A practice round is held at Augusta National on Fridat for all 72, with the top 30 playing their final round there.

The world number 19 amateur posted a picture of her invitation from Augusta National chairman Fred S Ridley on Instagram with the caption: "Nice surprise to arrive back to in America. Grateful for the opportunity to return to this amazing event."

The 21-year-old finished 23rd in last year's inaugural tournament, which was won by America's Jennifer Kupcho.

Mehaffey is coming off a sensational 2019 which saw her win three tournaments and soar into the top 20 of the world amateur rankings in the process.

Representing Arizona State University, she walked away with the titles at the Bruin Wave Invitational, Pac-12 Championship and NCAA Norman Regional last year.

Last month Mehaffey told BBC Radio Ulster's Sportsound Extra Time programme of her intention to turn professional in 2020 after a hand injury ruined her chances of making the move last year.

The NI golfer explained that she will make the LPGA Qualifying School her main focus this year.