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Alison Walshe

Galway-born Boston golfer can’t play for America in female Ryder Cup

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Alison Walshe

Alison Walshe is the Irish-born American golfer with an identity crisis in the glorious surroundings of a Meath castle.

Walshe can’t play for the Americans in the big Solheim Cup clash, the female equivalent of the Ryder Cup at Killeen Castle next month, because she was born in Galway.

Yet she doesn’t feel right about playing for the Europeans even though she is the leading ‘Irish’ woman in contention at the Irish Ladies Open at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Killeen Castle course, which also hosts the Solheim Cup at the end of September.

The 26-year-old still doesn’t know if she’s coming or going as regards the Solheim, even after firing another few pointers in European captain Alison Nicholas’ direction at Killeen Castle this week.

The one definite for the Galway born, Boston resident is that she can’t play for America due to her place of birth.

Victory - and a €60,000 cheque – at Killeen won’t push her high enough up the European qualification rankings but it might just give Nicholas something to think about as regards her four picks.

“I think that it would be really far fetched for me to come into contention as a pick,” admitted Walshe as she impressed in Meath.

“It would be tough for me if Alison did make a call. I was only two and a half when we left for America and my heart has been with the USA all my life.

“I’ve played all my golf there. I played Curtis Cup for America and it’s a predicament that I will only worry about if I have to. If I had lived here till I was seven it might be a different story but I have no memories of living in Galway.”

Walshe first came to prominence in these parts a year ago when she was offered €20,000 in financial support under the Team Ireland Golf Trust umbrella.

“I just didn’t feel right doing that and I did return the money,” confirmed Walshe.

“I felt I was taking something away from the girls who grew up here and also I had played all my golf in the States. It was weird switching the flag. It would be a really tough one for me to switch for the Solheim Cup now.”
 

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