Ireland’s Áine Donegan narrowly missed out on being the top amateur at the US Women's Open at Pebble Beach on Sunday, finishing tied 45th with a closing round of 77.
The County Clare native ended the tournament at nine-over, just one shot behind Italian amateur Benedetta Moresco, who received the silver medal for leading amateur.
Donegan was also only two shots behind her compatriot Leona Maguire, who carded a 77 as well. Maguire finished tied 31st at seven-over, while Allise Corpuz from Hawaii claimed the title with a final round of 69.
— Leona Maguire (@leona_maguire) July 10, 2023
Despite facing challenges, including the delay and damage to her golf clubs at the airport and battling illness on the final day, 21-year-old Donegan displayed an impressive performance throughout the tournament.
— Golf Ireland (@GolfIreland_) July 9, 2023
“Today was a long day...I’m fighting a bit of an illness at the moment. Woke up feeling horrible and I didn’t have much energy, to be honest," Donegan said after the tournament.
“Finally got up-and-down on 17 and then to hit one out of the seaweed on to the fairway and then hit a shot into that – I mean, if you’d told me looking at my drive coming off 18 with a par I’d be taking it. But no, feeling very, very thankful right now to have my friends here and just everyone who’s out here supporting me.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better week. My goal was to make the cut. And then obviously today is disappointing, but I’m coming off a long stretch of events, and unfortunately today I didn’t feel great yesterday, and I knew I was kind of getting a bit sick, and then today I have no energy and a bit of a cold and stuff.
“So happy with how the week went, and I can’t thank the USGA and all the fans enough for everything, really. And my coach Gary from Glenlo Abbey and everyone at home as well supporting me.”
A week to remember!
Áine has done us all so proud. She has represented herself, as well as her College, Club and Country, with class and grace.
Áine Donegan - remember the name. pic.twitter.com/eT1aQOiJLR
— Lahinch Golf Club (@LahinchGolfClub) July 10, 2023
Donegan has her sights set on contesting the Women’s Irish Open at Dromoland Castle next month.
“I have a final qualifier for The Open, and then I have the Irish Open at Dromoland Castle hopefully. If they give me an invite. I got invited last year so hopefully that again this year. And it’s only 10 minutes from my house, which will be very nice.”