All eyes in the world of amateur golf will be on Carton House on Wednesday, as the Kildare course hosts the illustrious World Amateur Team Championships.
The Espirito Santo Trophy gets underway on Wednesday, where the Ireland Ladies Team will be hoping to build on the success of their bronze medal in Mexico. The Eisenhower Trophy tees off on September 5th.
Speaking to the assembled media at Carton House, the Irish team were brimming with confidence. Captain Danielle McVeigh spoke about the significance of competing at home, the first time the Espirito Santo Trophy will take place in Britain and Ireland.
“It’s a great honour for us to represent Ireland, especially on home soil. It’s a fantastic event and it’s run incredibly professionally so we’re just really excited about it.
“We’ll give it our all. Preparations have been immense, it’s been perfect. These girls know how to play golf. They’ve been at this tournament before so I’m really telling them nothing they don’t know already. It’s more about removing all of the obstacles and hopefully making their life as easy as possible so they can literally just go and play golf.”
Lisburn’s Paula Grant (24) is hoping the pride of representing Ireland in familiar surroundings will provide an added boost.
“Playing for Ireland is just the best feeling. I love playing for my country and it just adds a little bit of extra something to the week especially when it’s in Ireland as well. it’s just a huge honour.
“You can’t really set a target because there’s four rounds and two scores from each player. We’ll just keep preparing the way we always have, just take a good look at the courses and take each day as it comes.”
McVeigh’s clubmate Olivia Mehaffey (20) underlined the importance of taking it hole-by-hole and enjoying the experience.
“I personally don’t have any expectations for this week. I just want to have a really good time, enjoy it. I think I tend to play better when I’m having a good time. It’s exciting that it’s in Ireland. I love playing in front of people and hopefully, we get some good crowds in.
“In Mexico, we had no expectations. It was a big surprise to us to get a bronze medal. It would be lovely to do the same thing again but you know, hole-by-hole and day-by-day.
Annabel Wilson from Lurgan, just seventeen years of age, knows home advantage gives the Irish team a chance of a successful showing.
“Our preparation has been brilliant. During the winter we came down and played both courses three or four times whereas other teams haven’t, they’re just coming here this week haven’t seen the course so that’s a big advantage.”
With a home crowd willing them forward, the Irish team are relishing the challenge.
“No reason at all (we cannot medal). That’s why we’re here.”
The Espirito Santo Trophy begins on Wednesday, August 29th at Carton House, Kildare. Tickets are available here.