Purcell gets his hands on Amateur Championship
The Amateur Championship will be played at The Island and Portmarnock from June 17-22 and excitement is already building.
Portmarnock's Conor Purcell, who is ranked 17th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, is one of the favourites to become the eighth Irishman to win the event and claim an invitation to the 2020 Masters Tournament traditionally extended to the winner.
He will be trying to follow in the footsteps of Jimmy Bruen (Royal Birkdale, 1946), Max McCready (Portmarnock, 1949), Joe Carr (Royal Liverpool 1953; St Andrews 1958; Royal Portrush 1960), Garth McGimpsey (Royal Dornoch 1985), Michael Hoey (Prestwick 2001), Brian McElhinney (Royal Birkdale 2005) and Alan Dunbar (Royal Troon 2012).
It will be no easy task but he has already had a close up view of the famous old trophy and got the chance to bring it to four local schools last week, including his alma mater, St. Oliver Plunkett School, Malahide.
The R&A's Hannah Fleming was on hand for the two-day visit which gave 600 schoolchildren the chance to learn about the event and take part in golf activities with former Curtis Cup player Maria Dunne, now working with the Confederation of Golf in Ireland.