Wednesday 18 September 2019

US trips a chance to shine for Irish hopefuls

Opportunity: Hugh Foley. Photo: © Golffile | Fran Caffrey
Opportunity: Hugh Foley. Photo: © Golffile | Fran Caffrey

Playing golf for Ireland proved an impossible dream for many great players over the years.

After getting the bad news, they were forced to twiddle their thumbs over the winter and wonder how they might impress the selectors the following year.

But there is now encouragement for those who narrowly miss out on the chance to pull on the green jersey with the GUI sending players abroad over the winter months for competitive action as part of the High Performance programme supported by Sport Ireland.

There are three events in the US in October and November, and they will give the likes of the uncapped Hugh Foley from Royal Dublin and Waterford's Eanna Griffin the chance to shine.

Foley and Griffin will play in the Spirit Invitational at Whispering Pines in Texas from November 7-9, which is the third of three US events with GUI participation over the autumn.

Hermitage's Rowan Lester, who failed to win his place in the Irish team this week despite dropping just half a point from six matches in the Interpros, will accompany Naas' Robert Brazill to the Nassau Invitational from October 11-12.

Lester, who has played 17 times for Ireland at Senior level, will also play in the Carey Cup against the Metropolitan Golf Association at Arcola Country Club in New Jersey from October 22-23 with Douglas' Peter O'Keeffe, Brazill and Walker Cup trio Conor Purcell, Caolan Rafferty and James Sugrue.

GUI selections

Nassau Invitational, Nassau CC, New York, from 11-12 October: Robert Brazill (Naas) & Rowan Lester (Hermitage). Carey Cup, Arcola CC, New Jersey from 22-23 October: Robert Brazill (Naas), Rowan Lester (Hermitage), Peter O'Keeffe (Douglas), Conor Purcell (Portmarnock), Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk), James Sugrue (Mallow). Spirit Invitational, Whispering Pines, Texas from 7-9 November: Hugh Foley (Royal Dublin) & Eanna Griffin (Waterford).

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