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Down golfer Mehaffey taking 'time away to get the help I need'

The 24-year-old released a powerful statement this afternoon.

Olivia Mehaffey: 'I've been in denial and tried to brush all my feelings aside.'
Olivia Mehaffey: 'I've been in denial and tried to brush all my feelings aside.'
Image: Kelvin Boyes/INPHO

DOWN GOLFER OLIVIA Mehaffey has announced her decision to “take some time away” from the game to prioritise her mental health.

In a powerful statement released on Twitter this afternoon, Mehaffey shared her intentions “to get the help I need” and “focus on myself as a person ahead of an athlete” following the death of her father Phillip last year.

Always a golfing influence and her biggest supporter, Philip passed away in December after a long battle with cancer.

“Since the end of last year I’ve been in denial and tried to brush all my feelings aside. I hid behind golf and didn’t give myself anytime to heal,” Mehaffey wrote today.

“I pushed everyone who wanted to talk and help away. I constantly told myself I was fine, I was coping, life was ok. Until everything caught up with me a few months ago and reality hit me.

I’ve tried to put a smile on my face and hide behind the fact I can’t make it through a day without crying, without feeling lost, without feeling broken inside and feeling so isolated from everyone. I feel I have lost myself and I can’t find happiness right now.

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“I’m learning that grief is a weird thing, something you don’t know how you will handle and what the next day will bring. It has taken me 8 months to admit I need help to get through this, to learn how to move forward, to navigate through life without my dad here.

Therefore, I have decided to take some time away to get the help I need and be surrounded by my family. I’m not sure when I will come back on tour, but I feel right now I need to focus on myself as a person ahead of an athlete.”

The 24-year-old former Arizone State College star started the season brightly but has struggled with her playing form in recent months, having missed nine straight cuts on the Ladies European Tour.

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