Tuesday 20 August 2019

When Harry met Gary

Thrill ride: Harry O’Hara meets Gary Player
Thrill ride: Harry O’Hara meets Gary Player

Ten-year-old Harry O'Hara from Newtownards was crowned the Gary Player Trophy Champion at the 2018 'Flogas Irish Junior Open'.

And last week he got to meet the Black Knight himself during The Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

Nine-time major winner Player has been a big supporter of the Irish Junior Open series, which has grown to become one of the biggest in Europe over the past five years.

Harry gained this impressive title by competing across Ireland against junior golfers from across the world in six summer events.

These Irish Junior Open events, which are open for boys and girls aged between five to 18, have attracted 2,000 entries this year from as far afield as Australia, China and Canada.

With a new 'Champion of Champions' World Invitational commencing in 2020 Harry will be tuning his game up to qualify for this and to defend his title.

Speaking at the Open Championship Harry said: "It's been an Incredible year with so many highlights. Winning the 'Flogas Irish Junior Open' Gary Player Trophy has given me a host of opportunities including, competing in the Champions Match at Royal Portrush with two European Tour players, meeting one of my idols Mr Player and getting to compete in the ISPS Handa World Invitational Pro Am."

Player admitted he was thrilled for Shane Lowry following his win on Sunday.

"That was one of the greatest victories I've ever seen in a championship and how appropriate to win in front of all those enthusiastic fans," he said.

"This was my 64th Open that I've attended, so I've seen a lot of Opens all over the country, and I would have to say, even though I didn't participate, it was one of the most successful Opens ever."

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