Hazel Kavanagh has made history by becoming the first woman ever to qualify for the Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship.
Dublin-based Kavanagh will make a landmark appearance in the £78,000 grand final at Luttrellstown Castle Golf & Country Club between June 13-16.
Kavanagh, representing Carr Golf Centre at Spawell, carded a five over par round of 77 in the qualifying event, also held at Luttrellstown Castle, which was enough to get her into the final along with 18 other qualifiers.
Kavanagh is no stranger to rewriting the record books. Three years ago, she became the first woman to win a PGA Irish Region event with her triumph in the PGA Irish Club Professional Tournament at Arklow Golf Links. She has also represented Ireland in the World Cup of Golf 2005 and in the European Cup in 2010 – along with several Top 10 finishes on the Ladies’ European Tour.
But she admits this feat is something special. “It’s amazing, I didn’t realise it at the time,” she said. “But I’d always assumed a woman would’ve made the final at some point in the past. The courses are set up to be quite tough so I can see why female golfers don’t play in them.
“But I’d played at practice round the previous Sunday at Luttrellstown – I only live five minutes from the course – I know it very well. And I settled into the round after the first hole, I just hung in there. I was three over on the front nine but I made a birdie at the 11th hole.”