Roscommon teenage golfing sensation, Olivia Costello, has begun her opening round at the KPMG Women’s Irish Open in Dromoland Castle in Co. Clare today (Thursday), teeing off at 8.50am this morning alongside Lydia Hall (Wales) and Ursula Wikstrom (Finland), as the tournament returns to the sporting calendar for the first time in ten years.
Olivia, who was just four years old when the last Women’s Irish Open was played at Killeen Castle, Co. Meath in 2012, said she was inspired to take up golf by dad, Michael Costello.
Speaking to the Roscommon People this week, Olivia said: “I started playing when I was around seven or eight years of age. Myself, my brother and my dad used to go up for lessons with Philip Murphy (golf pro). That was the start of it so it was my dad who got me into playing. We used to call it ‘McDonald’s Tuesdays’ because on the way back we’d stop in at McDonald’s!
“At the start I was doing it for fun and I wasn’t thinking about the opportunities it could give me. I don’t really know when I started thinking about it as more than that”.
The second year Convent of Mercy student was preparing for the British U-18 Amateurs in Scotland earlier this year when she received word of her invite to this weekend’s Irish Open.
“I had just played the Home Internationals and myself and two other friends went down to the AIG Women’s Open in Muirfield and on the way back for the British U-18 Amateurs in Carnoustie, KPMG emailed about it. It hadn’t been something I really thought about,” she said.
As she prepares for her first appearance at the Women’s Open, Olivia is ready to make the most of the experience.
“I’m really excited about the experience and I’m looking forward to seeing how the other players prepare and what they do,” she said.
“There are some really good players like Leona (Maguire) and Anne van Dam and it will be great seeing how they prepare and how they get ready for it and I’m obviously excited about playing in it as well!”