Five young talents that are the future of Irish golf
Published 05/09/2016 | 18:12
We are blessed with riches when it comes to professional golf talent on this island. Here are five for the future.
It’s a difficult transition from amateur to professional golfer, with many more falling by the wayside than making it. The European Challenge Tour offers a route to the big time for those aspiring young talents and for the Irish, they’ll be looking forward to playing in front of a home crowd as Europe’s top developmental tour returns to the Republic of Ireland for the second year in succession. The Volopa Irish Challenge will be hosted by Mount Wolseley Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort on the 8th – 11th September 2016.
We do produce some extraordinary golfers in Ireland and it’s important we continue that output. Here are five future stars of Irish and international golf.
The Waterford man is currently lying in 63rd place in the Challenge Tour’s Road to Oman Rankings, and Gary Hurley leads the Irish charge in the second tier professional golf tournament this season.
A tied-fourth place finish at the rain-affected Montecchia Open by Lyoness has been the 2015 Walker Cup winner’s best result in a season where he also finished tied 60th at the Dubai Duty Free Open Irish Open. After teeing it up at The K Club in May, the 23 year old is relishing the chance to return to home turf, and to a course he knows well in Mount Wolseley.
“I can’t wait to get back to Mount Wolseley for the Volopa Irish Challenge,” said Hurley, who studied Business and Management at Maynooth University after gaining the Padraig Harrington golf scholarship.
Ruaidhri McGee is in 68th place on the Challenge Tour’s Road to Oman Rankings and will be hoping to find his scintillating 2015 form in front of a home crowd. The Rosapenna golfer attributed his incredible improvement in performance last year to following Novak Djokovic’s lead and going vegan. McGee made the decision to cut animal products from his diet when he visited his sister and her husband in the States, who are both vegan, and decided to give it a go.
McGee will have learned from last year’s experience at Qualifying School when he followed a glorious opening 64 with a nightmarish 87 to all but kiss his European Tour hopes goodbye at the PGA Catalunya Resort. But in golf, as in life, the hard lessons maketh the man, and McGee is due a good performance.
Gavin Moynihan was part of a five-strong Irish contingent on the GB&I team that defeated the USA in the Walker Cup at Royal Lytham last September and turned professional just afterwards. At 21 Moynihan is the youngest ever winner of the Irish Amateur Open. His first game as a professional saw him finish in a tie for 36th place at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at The K Club to take home €26,800 in winnings. He came within inches of driving home in a €145,000 BMW which was the prize for a hole in one.
From the Ards peninsula, Sharvin moved into the professional ranks after his heroic exploits on the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup winning team. After concluding his university studies Sharvin has taken the Challenge Tour route to navigate his way through the perils of a fledgling career as a professional golfer.
Chris Selfridge from Castledawson in Northern Ireland turned professional last year after leaving the University of Toledo in Ohio with a degree in Marketing and Communications. The Moyola man found his feet very quickly as a professional golfer last year. He played in 12 events on the Challenge Tour and made 12 cuts, easily securing his playing rights for the 2016 season.
The very best of Ireland’s most promising young players will be teeing it up for the Volopa Irish Challenge at Mount Wolseley 8th-11th September 2016, as they take on the finest young players from across the globe. With few opportunities left until the end of the season, the tournament represents one of the last chances for the players to ensure they finish the season in the top 15 of the Road to Oman Rankings and thereby earn graduation to the European Tour and the chance to fulfill lifelong ambitions. For more info click here.