Golfer Niamh McSherry reflects on K-State career

Then-junior Niamh McSherry celebrates sinking in her last shot to win the Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invitational at Colbert Hills Golf Course on Sept. 18, 2019. (Archive Photo by Luis Villarreal-Reyes | Collegian Media Group)

Niamh McSherry saw an opportunity to come to the U.S. to play golf in the small town of Manhattan.

Without golf, McSherry would never have attended K-State.

From Ireland to Manhattan is a drastic change, but being from a small town in Ireland allowed some type of normality for McSherry.

“I come from kind of a small town myself,” McSherry said. “It attracted me to K-State with how small Manhattan was. That was probably one of the only things I did not really have to adapt to which helped me a lot. I think it just brings the whole team and everyone around you closer when it is that kind of a small environment.”

McSherry said she was excited to be part of the family atmosphere that K-State is known for.

“K-State has that family atmosphere that they always talk about,” McSherry said. “That was something I was really interested in.”

Knowing a member from Ireland made it a perfect fit.

“There was a girl from Ireland on the team when I first came here [that] I had known here for a while,” McSherry said. “It was good for me to come somewhere where I knew somebody.”

It was a family decision to travel across the Atlantic for a college degree, but with two siblings, Niamh is the only McSherry child that has left Ireland.

“My family had a big impact, but it was my final decision,” McSherry said. “They supported me 150 percent throughout. I knew I was never going to come anywhere they did not want me to go. My dad came when I went on my visit, and he liked it here as much as I did. We knew that this was the place for me. They have been so amazing throughout, and I could not have done it without them.”

McSherry settled in quickly and was in the lineup for each of the 10 events her freshman season.

“Going into freshman year, my No. 1 goal was to settle in. It is a completely different life here than it is at home,” McSherry said. “I was excited when I got to play my first time at my first tournament. I have played a lot of competitive golf before playing at K-State. Even though it is different competition level, it helped me a lot was the previous experience that I have had to go in freshman year and to still be able to compete.”

The Lurgan, Ireland, native thrived in the opportunity she has had in her K-State golf career. Whether she is in Manhattan or back home in Ireland, she worked to make the most of her four years of collegiate golf.

“Over the years, my game has improved a lot,” McSherry said. “A lot of that has been the coaches pushing me to be better and taking a chance on me at the beginning. Giving me this opportunity, and working so hard with me to become a better golfer. And working myself. I go home every winter and summer and of course last year when the pandemic hit, I went home. I think it is a mixture of a really good team atmosphere and also working hard on my game.”

Now, as the season is winding down, McSherry claims this team as the best team she has been a part of, and it appears they have a solid chance at reaching postseason play in May.

“This is the strongest team we have had,” McSherry said. “We are sitting here at ninth, with a really good opportunity to make postseason. Usually at this time in the year, we are outside the bubble, and we are well in the bubble. We are only going to get better. This team has seven awesome players. I am really excited about what we can do for the rest of the semester. I know this team has an amazing opportunity to make postseason. It would be the first time since I have been here. I know we have a really good opportunity to play in May and that is what we all strive for.”

As McSherry is wrapping up her fourth season, she is nostalgic about her time at K-State coming to an end, but she is also looking forward to building onto her future.

“I have mixed emotions,” McSherry said. “I am really proud of myself. Coming from a different country and leaving home to getting to my fourth year knowing I am going to graduate. It will be tough to leave. I have met some amazing friends here. Played at some awesome golf courses and had more opportunities than I would have at home. It will be hard to leave, but at the same time I am happy to spend time with some family and just start a new chapter.”