Sunday 24 March 2019

Bunclody golf club to host PGA

Bunclody Golf Club
Bunclody Golf Club

Brendan Keane

In what could best be described as a hole-in-one coup for local tourism Bunclody Golf Club is to host the 109th Irish PGA championship from August 19 to 22.

The prestigious tournament will begin with a Pro-Am on Monday, August 19, followed by the three-day, 54-hole championship.

A cut will be made after 36 holes and the leading competitors at that stage will go on to contest the final 18 holes on August 22.

Commenting on the news the tournament director for PGA in Ireland, Yvonne Cassidy, said the Bunclody course will present a unique set of challenges to the golfers.

She said designer, Jeff Howes, produced what is in her opinion, 'one of the strongest finishes to any parkland course in the country'.

Ms Cassidy said the course asks everything from modern players: 'It entices competitors to be unwavering in their ability to be audacious in their play.'

She also said it's the type of course that brings out the very best in players.

'I am confident it [the course] will produce a worthy champion,' she said.

'We are looking forward to working closely with the staff in Bunclody to successfully stage the 109th PGA Irish championship.'

The Bunclody course was opened 10 years ago and is located on a 300 acre parkland site,.

The course itself measures over 7000 yards and is regarded as one of Ireland's foremost parkland venues.

Long term investment has taken place at the venue and under course superintendent, Mark Byrne, work has focussed on improving the quality of the bunkers.

Director of the club, Nick Byrne, said having the PGA coming to Co Wexford is major news for the county.

Expressing delight that Bunclody will host the event he said: 'It promises to be a superb event.'

The club has hosted some big events in recent years including the Irish senior ladies close championship in 2017, however, the Irish PGA championship is one of the world's oldest, professional tournaments and among the prestigious players who have lifted the trophy in the past have been the likes of Christy O'Connor, Harry Bradshaw, Paul McGinley and Padraig Harrington.

The news was welcomed locally with Cllr Kathleen Codd-Nolan and Cllr Barbara Anne Murphy both expressing delight at the development.

'It's a great boost for the area and it's definitely going to bring tourists into the county,' said Cllr Murphy.

'Bunclody is growing rapidly and is a busy little town and this can only be good news for the local area especially in terms of tourism,' said Cllr Codd-Nolan.

Enniscorthy Guardian