Stephanie Meadow confirms World Invitational entry on eve of US Women's Open

Stephanie Meadow in action at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii last month
Stephanie Meadow is 106th in this season's LPGA rankings but she is confident that good results are in the offing

Stephanie Meadow tees up at the US Women's Open in Charleston on Thursday as she continues a 2019 campaign which will include playing on home soil at the World Invitational in August.

Meadow, who finished a remarkable third on her professional debut at the 2014 US Open, is yet to compete in Northern Ireland since joining the paid ranks.

"I will be there. I've decided to go," said Meadow of the 15-18 August event.

The tournament will see men's and women's events with equal prize money.

The format, which follows the men's and women's model successfully adopted by the Vic Open in Australia, will see the 300 competitors playing at the tournament's two venues of Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort and Massereene.

"To be actually there in person and hopefully inspire some young girls who come to the event is very special," the 27-year-old Jordanstown woman told BBC Sport Northern Ireland.

"I can't wait. It's kind of a dream come true to be able to play at home. I haven't had the opportunity to play in front of a home crowd since turning pro."

Charley Hull is also in the US Women's Open field this week
Organisers of the World Invitational are also hopeful that Charley Hull will compete in the event

NI Open transforms into World Invitational

European Challenge Tour event, the Northern Ireland Open is being transformed into the World Invitational and organisers are hopeful the women's field will include English star Charley Hull and Meadow's Rio Olympics Irish team-mate Leona Maguire.

However, first things first, Meadow, Hull and Maguire will among those devoting all their attentions to this week's major in South Carolina.

After her stunning professional debut at Pinehurst as she finished only three shots behind winner Michelle Wie, Meadow endured three difficult years between 2015 and 2017 as the death of her beloved father was followed a serious back injury.

However, she regained her full playing privileges on this year's LPGA Tour after impressing on the second-tier Symetra Tour in 2018 and the Northern Irishwoman's beaming smile has returned to the fairways.

"It's definitely been a long journey but it's kind of my personality - I'm a little stubborn.

"I just keep going and fighting and I know I can get back to where I was and better."

Meadow's struggles 'told me how much I love golf'

Almost paradoxically, Meadow says that it took her struggles to really inform her how much she loved the game of golf.

"It's not about playing in the US Open or being on the Symetra Tour. It's wherever I am, I love the game of golf and it's what I want to do.

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'It's a dream come true to play at home' - NI's Meadow

"When I got that perspective, it was a lot easier to keep battling."

Meadow goes into this week's major boosted by a fine closing 67 at last week's Pure Silk Championship as she finished in a share of 43rd spot.

So far in 2019, she has made the cut in five of her eight LPGA events but a 40th place in the Founders Cup in March is her best finish.

"I've made a lot of cuts but haven't had the greatest weekends so my focus now is that once I make the cut is to keep making birdies and go full steam ahead."

As ever with any US Open layout, Meadow admits that patience will be a virtue at Charleston Country Club.

"It's a great set-up but the back nine is really tricky.

"There are some really hard greens in there so you have to pick and choose your holes to make birdies on or you are going to get eaten alive."

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