Skip to main content
×

After a long wait in Europe, Amanda Doherty eyes first LPGA win at ISPS Handa

Getty Images

Sticking around Europe was worth it for Amanda Doherty. 

The 24-year-old LPGA rookie holds a one-stroke lead, at 11 under, over Lauren Coughlin after 36 holes of the ISPS Handa World Invitational in Northern Ireland. Yet, the past several weeks across the pond, Doherty has been itching to just tee it up competitively. 

Doherty finished 37th at the Amundi Evian Championship in France last month. But rather than head home after her best career major finish, she hoped to build off that at the Women's Scottish Open. However, there was a caveat — she was the first alternate. She waited throughout the entire first round, but never got into the event. 

The next week was the AIG Women's Open at Muirfield. Doherty missed final qualifying by a couple of shots and was disappointed. But she still got some links golf in to prepare for this week. 


Full-field scores from the ISPS Handa World Invitational


"I got a couple practice rounds on a few different links courses around Scotland," she said on Friday after her second consecutive 67 across two different courses, "and then came over here a couple days early. Tried to get a feel for everything in Northern Ireland."

Doherty, who is ranked No. 211 in the world, played Gullane No. 3 and a few other courses in Scotland. She tried to play St. Andrews but couldn't secure a tee time. 

"Just touristy around there," she said. "But a lot of really good courses are high season right now, so tough to get on them, unfortunately."

However, her time off may have been a blessing in disguise. Not only is Doherty in the hunt for her maiden LPGA victory, but also her first top-10 on tour. She also got to see another part of the world with a loved one. 

"It's awesome having my mom here," she said. "Especially the last few weeks not getting to play. We got to go see some stuff and be tourists for a few days." 

And after waiting across the Atlantic for nearly a month, Doherty hopes to stay atop the leaderboard for another two days and leave Northern Ireland an LPGA champion. 

This event is co-sanctioned by the LPGA, Ladies European Tour and the DP World Tour. The men are playing a concurrent event on the same courses, with just one course, Galgorm, in use by everyone over the weekend. Scotland's Ewen Ferguson leads on the men's side at 9 under. Spain's Borja Virto is second with Italian amateur Filippo Celli, the low am at The Open, two shots back.