Walker Cup heroes fired up for Mount Wolseley Challenge
The afterglow of the Walker Cup victory by Britain and Ireland adds considerable interest to the Volopa Irish Challenge which starts today at Mount Wolseley Hotel Resort in Carlow.
Four members of the team which eclipsed the USA last month in Royal Lytham & St Annes are competing - Gavin Moynihan, Gary Hurley, and Jack Hume of Ireland, and England's Jimmy Mullen.
Mullen and another Walker Cup player, Paul Dunne, caused a sensation when they were tied for the lead with Kristoffer Broberg after round one of the Alfred Dunhill Links championship last week.
Both of them earned big cheques - €47,536 for Dunne, and €36,542 for Mullen.
This week Dunne plays in the British Masters at Woburn, while Mullen competes at the well-received Mount Wolseley course designed by Christy O'Connor Junior.
Gavin Moynihan welcomes Mullen to Ireland and now faces the prospect of challenging his recent Walker Cup team-mate for top placings - and money - in the tournament.
Moynihan, 21, a product of Donabate GC and The Island in North County Dublin said: "It's great to be here and the fact that there are a few of us here too is really good.
"I played the course about two months ago with the pro here, and I played again this week, so I feel as though I know the course reasonably well.
"I'm looking forward to it starting.
"It's only been four weeks since the Walker Cup and there are five of us here which is great.
"That win four weeks ago was unbelievable, especially given that we gave them a good beating. It's great that we're all back together.
"We're all looking forward to it, and we're playing well to so I expect us to do well," he said.
The competition will be intense, as Ruaidhri McGee can appreciate.
McGee, 24, is chasing a place in the top 15 who earn full cards at the end of the Challenge Tour season.
"There's a lot of excitement about the tournament.
"It's going to be a big deal with a lot of the Walker Cup guys playing in it.
"The Irish love their golf so hopefully we'll see a lot of people out, especially if the weather is good.
"My goal is the top 15 in the rankings and a European Tour spot. It would be ideal to win one of the remaining events, and Ireland would be an extra special place to win," he said.