Irish amateur Sara Byrne came into her first two professional tournaments in full force on the LET Access Series (LETAS).
The 22-year-old received invitations to two of the co-sanctioned events with the Ahlsell Nordic Golf Tour, the Vasteras Open by Elite Hotels and the Capio Ogon Trophy, and showed she meant business placing sixth and twelfth respectively.
Reflecting on these events, Byrne said: “I had no expectations, I think that helped me to play freely. My goal for the two weeks wasn’t to come out with wins, it was to gain a lot of experience in professional tournaments.
“I asked millions of questions especially to Hannah McCook, as we played all three rounds together, so big thanks to her. I now know I 100% want to turn professional.”
Now, the feisty Irish player has a chance to impress home crowds at the KPMG Women’s Irish Open this week.
Speaking about the opportunity Byrne said: “Coming away from the two LET Access events has definitely given me a lot of confidence. I’m really looking forward to it but I won’t have too many expectations. I’m going there to enjoy the moment and I think playing in front of home crowds will be pretty amazing.”
So before Byrne tees it up at the prestigious Dromoland Castle, we caught up with her to find out more about the Irish player….
A Family Affair
Byrne, like many professional golfers, got into the sport through her dad who played a high level of amateur golf.
The golf course was Byrne’s version of a park or a playground growing up but eventually, she picked up the clubs and never looked back.
“My dad would bring me along with him. I used to play in the bunkers. Then at the age of 10 I started to compete and I absolutely fell in love with the game,” said Byrne, who has a close bond with her dad Derek who caddied for her at the two Swedish events.
“He is 100% my biggest supporter, he’s always there for me by my side no matter what. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him. He’s always pushing me to be better and I can’t thank him enough for what he’s done.”
‘A Man’s World’
At the start of her golfing journey, Byrne recalls being mainly surrounded by male influences but attributes that experience to making her better.
She commented: “Definitely growing up, there weren’t really that many girls in my club. I think it hardened me in a way. The boys were always older, stronger and they played fearlessly. I think that…