Bucking a 43-year trend, Stephanie Meadow has become the first woman to win the Irish Golf Writers’ Professional of the Year for her performances on the course in 2018.
Speaking to OTB AM in the wake of her landmark triumph, Meadow asserted that her win signaled a change in the perception of women’s golf, and perhaps women’s sport in Ireland across the board.
“To be the first female to do it is pretty special,” Meadow said from her home in Phoenix, Arizona.
“I think it says a lot about women’s golf and Irish women’s golf as well. I think it shows how far we’ve come. Ten-years ago, we had no pros out there really, so I think it’s very special and opens a lot of doors for the younger girls coming through.”
Born in Belfast, Meadow acts as an ambassador for 20x20; an initiative attempting to raise the awareness and coverage of women’s sport. In winning this landmark award, the Irish golfer has embodied the direct concern raised in the initiative’s slogan; “If she can’t see it, she can’t be it.”
Making the jump into professional golf, Stephanie Meadow will take her place on the LPGA Tour next season. Enduring a difficult 2017 due to injury, Meadow hit into 2018 determined to make up for lost time.
In joining the likes of previous winners such as Padraig Harrington, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, Meadow is hopeful that Ireland’s ability to produce elite golfers may stretch more regularly across the gender divide.
“So many people, especially in the [United] States, ask me, ‘what’s in the water in Ireland to produce all these fabulous players’,” Meadow revealed.
“But they’re all men, so it’s great to see the water is starting to have an effect on the women as well.”
By Arthur O'Dea