Storms put West qualifying in doubt
Published 01/04/2015 | 02:30
County Sligo Golf Club was lashed by gale-force winds yesterday, making the course unplayable, but West of Ireland Championship organisers hope that today's pre-qualifying event can go ahead as scheduled.
A total of 95 players are due to play 18 holes strokeplay today, hoping to gain entry into the main draw for the Championship's opening round on Friday.
Originally seven places were on offer from this pre-qualifying, but given the rate of withdrawals, there could be up to 11 spots available.
If the stormy weather of yesterday is replicated today, it's unlikely golf would be possible, but County Sligo secretary-manager David O'Donovan is optimistic.
"It has calmed down a lot this evening, but today was as bad as I've seen for a long, long time. It was just totally unplayable," he said last night.
"The pins on 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, you couldn't keep them in the hole. It was vicious weather, but in fairness it's a lot better now."
Contingency plans have been made that in the event of golf not being possible today, the pre-qualifying would take place tomorrow, with time for practice being made available to other players in the afternoon.
"If the weather stays as it is now, we should be all right. The wind out there is half of what it was earlier today, so hopefully we can get everyone out playing as planned," said O'Donovan.
Holder Jack Hume and fellow Irish international John Ross Galbraith, who were playing in Argentina up to last Sunday, have been given an exemption into the matchplay stages, which start on Sunday.
"Than means we've got 62 to qualify on Saturday evening for the matchplay," said O'Donovan.
Hume is one of five Irish players in the Britain and Ireland Walker Cup squad.
The 21-year-old Naas GC man is facing into the biggest season of his career.
"It's definitely a team that I want to be on. I'm sure it'll come down to form when the picks are being made," said Hume.