SARAH Helly has described her victory at the recent Irish Women’s Amateur Close Championship at Rosapenna on Sunday as a ‘dream come true’.
Helly, from Enniscrone in County Sligo, has strong Donegal connections as her mother hails from Buncrana and double All-Star Gaelic footballer Paul Durcan is her first cousin.
Helly gave herself a 23rd birthday present in some style when she defeated the on-form Olivia Mehaffey from Royal County Down 6 and 5 in the final on the Old Tom Morris Links.
Mehaffey is regarded as one of Europe’s top players but Mehaffey took the prize by Sheephaven Bay.
“It was a dream come true,” Helly told Charlie Collins this morning while on a visit to Letterkenny Golf Club.
“To win it in Rosappena with my mum being from Donegal and myself being half-Donegal, it was a great place to win it.
“I feel like all the practice paid off.
“The Close has always meant so much and it was a tournament I always wanted to win.”
Helly felt that her hardest game of the weekend was her quarter-final win over Paula Grant from Lisburn.
Helly said: “On the 18th hole, I had an 8-footer and if it hadn’t gone in I was packing my bags.”
After overcoming Mary Doyle in the semi-final she triumphed over Mehaffey in the final.
With the assistance of caddie Con Boyce – who informed her that she had a putt for the title – Helly took a stunning win.
Helly is set to graduate from Marshall University in West Virginia with a degree in Sports Management and Marketing in December.
Next month, she will play in the Home Internationals at Royal Wimbledon.
Listen to the full interview below …