LSU Gold

Donegan Finishes Play In US Women's Open

LSU's Aine Donegan tees off on the sixth hole during the final round at the 2023 U.S. Women's Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, Calif. on Sunday. (Kathryn Riley/USGA)

Donegan Finishes Play In US Women's Open

BATON ROUGE – Aine Donegan took her final walk around Pebble Beach on Sunday as one of the most important women’s golf tournaments, the United States Women’s Open, came to a conclusion.

The rising LSU junior finished with a 5-over round of 77 to complete the 72 holes at 9-over par score of 297 (69-76-75-77). She finished one shot behind low amateur which was 8-over par, but in making the cut at the Open she will receive an exemption if she wishes to play in the U.S. Women’s Amateur in August.

Donegan just missed an 11-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole that would have gotten her into a tie for the low amateur spot with Benedetta Moresco, who shot 73 in the final round. Overall Donegan finished in a tie for 45th.

Here is the transcript of Donegan’s post-round interview with the USGA Media following the final round:

Q: You had an amazing approach shot over there coming in. Unfortunately, the putt didn’t sink. What did it feel like walking off 18 and having your family there, just soaking it all in?

ÁINE DONEGAN: Yeah, very emotional. Today was a long day. I’m fighting a bit of an illness at the moment. Woke up feeling horrible and I didn’t have much energy, to be honest. Finally got up-and-down on 17 and then to hit one out of the seaweed onto the fairway and then hit a shot into that — I mean, if you’d told me looking at my drive coming off 18 with a par, I’d be taking it. But no, feeling very, very thankful right now to have my friends here and just everyone who’s out here supporting me.

Q: Overall on the week, what are your thoughts and feelings about the whole week?

ÁINE DONEGAN: I couldn’t have asked for a better week. My goal was to make the cut. And then obviously today is disappointing, but I’m coming off a long stretch of events, and unfortunately today I didn’t feel great yesterday, and I knew I was kind of getting a bit sick, and then today I have no energy and a bit of a cold and stuff. So happy with how the week went, and I can’t thank the USGA and all the fans enough for everything, really. And my coach Gary (Madden) from Glenlo Abbey and everyone at home as well supporting me.

Q: What did you feel like you learned about yourself this week?

ÁINE DONEGAN: Probably that I played with a lot of different pros, and probably that it’s more – my ball-striking would be probably on par with them and stuff, and my putting is probably more just decision making and less kind of silly mistakes. I made a double bogey today (13) from just a stupid shot out of the bunker. That would be what I’ve learned. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that these tournaments are tiring, definitely. I kind of admire the pros more after that, after this week, for how much they travel and just how exhausting it actually is. That would be the biggest thing.

Q: Are you tempted at all or thinking at all about turning professional, or are you focused on finishing college?

ÁINE DONEGAN: No, I’m going to finish college. No doubt about it. I love LSU, and it wouldn’t even cross my mind.

Q: Do you have any plans to play in any other pro event as an amateur this summer?

ÁINE DONEGAN: Yeah, I have a final qualifier for The Open, and then I have the Irish Open at Dromoland Castle hopefully. If they give me an invite. I got invited last year so hopefully that again this year. And it’s only 10 minutes from my house, which will be very nice.