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Aine Donegan, a testament to the power of the mental game, secures her spot in the US Women’s Open once again – News – Irish Golf Desk


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“Whatever happens after that is a bonus. So that’s the goal for the next couple of tournaments and throughout the summer.”

She’ll be joined at Lancaster Country Club by Leona Maguire, two LSU teammates in world amateur number one, Ingrid Lindblad of Sweden, and her close friend Latanna Stone.

“At the end of the day, amateurs shouldn’t have any expectations,” she said. We’re just hoping to get there in the first place and enjoy it as much as we can.

“And luckily, this year, I’ll be there with Latanna, one of my best friends. It will be brilliant, and my family will come out as well. My brother texted me, and he said thanks again for another free holiday.”

The Co Clare star appears to have found form in the nick of time.

She was tied for second in the Moon Golf Invitational in February, but her failure to shine in recent weeks likely cost her a place the chance to play in the Arnold Palmer Cup side at her home club, Lahinch.

However, LSU has qualified for the NCAA regional in Texas next week and Donegan is looking forward to building on her latest success.

“I was in a bit of a slump,” she confessed. “So I started working with sports psychologist Karl Morris, who has a couple of LPGA players. I’ve only had a couple of sessions with him recently, but that’s been great.

“And Donal Scott, the Irish coach, has been great as well. I had a couple of calls with him.  

“Luckily, I have a good team around me that can help me get better and focus on what’s actually important instead of all the outside noise.  

“Staying present is the most important thing in golf, especially when you get to this level. Everyone is around the same level so it’s just who’s got a better mental game.

“There’s a select few, obviously, such as Nelly Korda, Scottie Scheffler and Rory, they’re amazing.  But once you get to a certain level, it’s mainly mental.”

That mental game proved key in the 36-hole US Open qualifier, where she birdied her last two holes to open with a four-under 68. This left her a shot off the lead and in a six-way tie for second.

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