Stephanie Meadow: "I’m proud of where I am"

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Stephanie Meadow: "I’m proud of where I am"

Stephanie Meadow will represent her country in Tokyo Olympics. "I always dreamed of having an LPGA Tour event at home. I remember the Ladies Irish Open, a Ladies European Tour event, being played in Ireland when I was a young girl growing up in Northern Ireland.

But that event was in the South. There weren’t any tournaments in the North. And while I’ve loved playing in the Tour’s events in Scotland and England, it never had the same feeling as getting to play at home.

I always hoped there would be a Tour stop somewhere in Ireland. But finding out there will be a Tour stop just 20 minutes from my hometown is even better"

Stephanie Meadow, statements

"I grew up in Jordanstown. I still have a home there even though most of my family has since moved away.

We had a wonderful home with a great street and lots of kids to play with. I have so many great memories of growing up there. We moved to the United States when I was a teenager but Jordanstown is still a very special place to me and always will be.

I became obsessed with golf and immediately knew it was what I wanted to do with my life. But, being a young girl, playing golf in Northern Ireland wasn't common. Back then, I was the only girl at the golf course. Being the only girl, I had to stand up for myself, make friends and be part of the group.

That's the only way I could fit in, have friends and have fun. I learned early on how to stick up for myself. My dad, Robert, was a golfer. He wasn’t a fantastic golfer, but he loved it and that’s how I got into the game.

He taught me to play when I was about five or six years old and he was heavily involved in helping me advance in my career. I was 10-years old and it was right around Christmas time when I started playing events in the United States.

I remember playing with a girl that went to a golf academy. That’s where my parents got the idea of making the move to the States. My parents talked to her parents and four years later we made the decision to move to South Carolina.

They wanted to make the move, too. It was a good experience for them as well and it definitely paid off. I’m eternally grateful to them for pretty much giving up everything and moving here so I could pursue my dream of playing professional golf.

I got to play at the University of Alabama, where I won nine times. That’s where I learned to win against the best girls in college. I brought with me the feistiness I found growing up in Northern Ireland. I think Irish culture is kind of like that.

It's pretty rare for an Irish person not to be feisty. It’s just in me. Everybody grows up fighting for their own thing. I’m very proud of where I am from and to be able to represent them"