Royal County Down’s top female golfer Danielle McVeigh has announced her decision today to turn Professional and join the ranks of the Ladies European Tour. The move comes as McVeigh prepares to take on a star studded field at the Ladies Irish Open, supported by Fáilte Ireland, which gets underway this Friday at Killeen Castle, county Meath.

The Kilkeel woman leaves behind a glittering amateur career in which she rose to prominence by winning amongst others the British Amateur Open Strokeplay in 2009 and the Helen Holm Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship last year.

Danielle had this to say on her decision, “The time is right for me to progress and I have always wanted to turn pro. Golf is such a big part of my life and with my studies now complete I believe it is the right time to focus entirely on my game. I am really excited about competing against some of the ladies top golfers in Europe on a regular basis.”

“I look forward to improving my game to the standard where I will play in some of the best tournaments in the world. I have had so much support from everyone back home, especially my club, Royal County Down, playing at such a world class course has paid dividends in my amateur career, with some of my biggest victories coming at links courses. The help and support I have received from the staff and members of the club has certainly contributed to my success.”

“I have also had amazing support from the ILGU, who have supported me since I joined junior coaching at the age of 14. The support in sending me to tournaments has allowed me to test my games against the top amateurs in the world.”

After the Irish Open, Danielle plans to compete at in a number of events in the LET Access Tour with the hope of playing a full schedule on the LET Tour in 2012.  Danielle has also credited the support she has received from the Sports Institute Northern Ireland (SINI) which also works with other Northern Irish golfers, such as Gareth Maybin, Paul Cutler and Michael Hoey; “SINI has provided great support to me over the last two years; the professional help and advice from SINI has really helped me develop my approach to the game, by focusing on nutrition, physiotherapy, strength and conditioning as well as planning my performance.”

Danielle is turning professional during a glorious time for Northern Irish golf, with three Major winners in 14 months. Danielle has no shortage of role models; “Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke have shown the International golf scene that Northern Ireland is full of golfing talent and I really hope I can make an impact on the ladies tour.”

“My greatest inspiration has been my father, who passed away last year, he introduced me to the sport he loved when I was about 11, he always encouraged me and I know he would be really delighted that I am turning pro.”

The Ladies Irish Open, supported by Fáilte Ireland, takes place from August 5th to 7th at Killeen Castle, Dunsany, Co. Meath.  Located just off exit six on the M3, just fifteen minutes from the Blanchardstown M50 turn-off, the event is very accessible to the greater Dublin area and surrounding counties. The event is very family friendly with free tickets for children and senior citizens. Standard tickets are just €10, with season passes for €25. Public parking is available on-site and tickets can be purchased on entry or by visiting  

Danielle McVeigh biography:

Danielle first took up golf aged 11 and her all time favourite course in Royal Co Down, while her favourite golfer is Ben Hogan. Danielle has had two hole in 1s, one of which came at the Ladies Irish Open in 2009. Danielle had her biggest victory at the Ladies British Championship in 2009.

Danielle has played in British Open twice as an amateur, in 2007 at St Andrews and in 2010 in Royal Birkdale.

Sports Institute Northern Ireland:

The Sports Institute for Northern Ireland (SINI) is a partnership between Sport Northern Ireland and the University of Ulster and is based on the Jordanstown campus of the University of Ulster. SINI works together with athletes, coaches and governing bodies to enable local athletes to compete on a world stage. A huge amount of work goes on behind the scenes for an elite athlete and SINI is part of that background team. SINI provides a range of services to athletes to enable them to develop their skills and deliver consistent winning performances. When an athlete becomes a SINI athlete they have access to a high level of world class support. Each athlete is individually screened and a specific programme is tailored for their exact needs.

Athletes have access to the following support services;  Sports MedicinePerformance Science,    Strength and Conditioning, Performance Skills, Performance Planning