Chris Carvill wins Ping UGA Finals day at Concra Wood

April 19, 2017

concra wood pic 3
Belvoir Park’s Chris Carvill won the UGA Finals Day at Concra Wood GC on Wednesday.
Carvill carded a two under par round of 70 to win by three shots at the Christy O’Connor Jnr designed course in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan.
Six players finished in joint second place – Phil Collins (Galgorm Castle), David Hughes (Massereene GC), Philip Farrell (Laganview Golf Centre), Ricky Whitford (Knock GC), Gary Wardlow (Spa GC) and Damien Mooney (Damien Mooney Golf).

Chris Carvill

Chris got off to a bright start with birdies at the second and fourth getting him to two under.
He dropped a shot at the fifth when he failed to get up and down from the side of the green but finished the front nine with four steady pars to be out in one under par 35.
His par run continued until the 13th when he collected his third birdie of the day, pitching to tap-in range.
A double-bogey at the par-five 15th, when he found water off the tee threatened to derail his chances but he finished strongly with birdies at the 16th and 18th to sign for a back nine of 35 and a two under par total.
Loughgall’s James Curran won the amateur nett prize with 38 points edging out Brian Matthews (Lurgan) and Harry McKee (Knock) on break-of-tie.
The gross amateur prize went to Kirkistown’s Geoff Edgar who finished with 31 points.
Lurgan professional, Peter Hanna, guided his amateur partners of Brian Matthews, Paddy Meehan and Kevin McKavanaghan to success in the team event.

Ping UGA Finals Day Pro Scores

PING UGA Finals Day Team Scores

International King’s Cup hopefuls prepare for Lough Erne showdown

April 15, 2017

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The stage is set for an enthralling King’s Cup qualifying shoot-out at Lough Erne Resort on Sunday April 23.
Following four regional qualifiers, the contenders have been whittled down to just 60 players who will descend on the Co Fermanagh venue determined to book their place on Ireland’s 16 man (8 pairs) team to face the USA in May.
“I want to thank everyone who competed in the regional qualifiers at Ardglass GC, Ennis GC, Westport GC and Dunmurry Springs GC,” said Lynn McCool, Director of Golf and Head Professional at Lough Erne Resort.
“We were encouraged by participants and fans of the tournament to take qualifying around the country so that’s exactly what we did. The competitors love the format [four different handicap categories and two age brackets] which means that everyone, regardless of age or handicap has a chance to represent Ireland.

“We are looking forward to welcoming all the qualifiers to Lough Erne, many of whom will be visiting for the first time, so they can savour the Northern Ireland golfing experience.”

The International King’s Cup was first played in 2016 and finished in dramatic style with Ireland eventually winning after a final hole play-off.
The Ryder Cup style tournament which honours golf’s greatest ambassador, Mr Arnold Palmer, features 16-man teams from Ireland and the USA going head to head over three days.
The leading eight teams from the final qualifying event on April 23 will go on represent Ireland in the three-day competition from May 23-25.
They will stay on-site at the Lough Erne resort, with access to the golf academy and facilities, receive specially commissioned outerwear courtesy of Glenmuir and attend two Gala dinners.

Ardglass GC qualifiers
Open Age Championship – Jonathan Feenan (Ardglass GC) (5) & Gerard Copeland (Ardglass) (1) 62
Category A Open Age – Declan McKeever (Donegal GC) (13) & Darren McKeever (Donegal GC) (6) 65
Category B Open Age – John Mullan (Ardglass GC) (14) & Conor McConvey (Ardglass GC) (6) 68
Category C Open Age – Martin Peters (Donegal GC) (16) & Vincent Owens (Omagh GC) (15) 67
Senior Category A – Colin Crozier (Carnalea GC) (6) & Alan Stewart (Kirkistown GC) (11) 71 (bb9)
Senior Category B – Mark Bohill (Downpatrick GC) (15) & Philip Connor (Ardglass GC) (12) 71
Senior Category C – James McAllister (Ballybofey & S GC) (16) & Patsy O’Donnell )Ballybofey & S GC) (16) 71

Dunmurry Springs GC qualifiers
Open Age Championship – Darren Carey (Dunmurry Springs GC) (3) & Paul Sweeney (Dunmurry Springs GC)(6) 69
Category A Open Age – Sean O’Gallchair (Cloughaneely GC) (9) & Barry McCormack (Dumurry Springs GC) (2) 71
Category B Open Age – Flann Hayes (Dunmurry Springs GC) (6) & Rob Caschera (Dunmurry Springs GC) (14) 71
Category C Open Age – John Lennon (Moate GC) (13) & Charlie McGrath (Moate GC) (21) 81
Senior Championship – John Hughes (Woodbrook GC) (0) & Paddy Lewis (Woodbrook GC) (4) 72
Senior Category A – Niall Clince (Craddockstown GC) (4) & Kieran O’Brien (Craddockstown GC) (6) 72
Senior Category B – John Nealon (Athy GC) (14) & Joe Fitzpatrick (Kilkenny GC) (11) 79
Senior Category C – Christy McNally (Dunmurry Springs GC) (13) & Tony Donnelly (Dunmurry Springs GC) (17) 78

Ennis GC qualifiers
Open Age Championship – Alan Purcell (Adare Manor GC) ( (2) & Liam Lenihan (Shannon GC) (5) 75
Category A Open Age – Sean Myatt (Ennis GC) (6) & Ian Myatt (Ennis GC) (8) 67
Category B Open Age – Frank Gormley (Ennis GC) (14) & Colin Ryan (Ennis GC) (7) 73
Category C Open Age – Alan White (Limerick GC) (14) & Gary Power (Limerick GC) (17) 81
Senior Category A – ML Ryan (Tipperary GC) (5) & Pat Creamer (Tipperary GC) (9) 73
Senior Category B – Martin White (Ennis GC) (12) & Paddy Meehan (Woodbrook GC) (10) 77
Senior Category C – Steve Burns (Ennis GC) (13) & John Finn (Ennis GC) (17) 78

Westport GC qualifiers
Open Age Championship – Tony Bree (Westport GC) (2) & Michael Kearns (Westport GC) (1) 72
Category A Open Age – Waylon McEniff (Clones GC) (8) & Gareth Beattie (Clones GC) (11) 77 (bb3)Category B Open Age – Kevin Commins (Ardee GC) (6) & Thomas O’Madden (Ardee GC) (14) 70
Category C Open Age – Paul Doherty (Ballybofey & S GC) (15) & Mark Ponsonby (Letterkenny GC) (16) 86
Senior Championship – Alan Moran (Tuam GC) (3) & Colm Feeney (Galway GC) (3) 70
Senior Category A – Joe Mullally (Tuam GC) (6) & Danny McGrath (Tuam GC) (6) 76
Senior Category B – Liam Friel (Westport GC) (12) & John Collins (Westport GC) (16) 74
Senior Category C – Richie Lee (Oughterard GC) (15) & Seamus McHugh (Ballinrobe GC) (16) 80

Determined McGrane sets sights on multiple Irish PGA Championship wins

April 12, 2017


Damien McGrane isn’t ready to hand over his Irish PGA Championship crown just yet.
The Kells golfer, a winner of the Volvo China Open in 2008, is determined to defend his title when the Championship returns to Moyvalley Hotel & Golf Resort (June 22-25).
“The hardest thing by far for me was just getting that first one,” said the 45-year-old.
“Now that I have won it, hopefully that’s opened the floodgates for me. I would love to press on and become a multiple winner of the Irish Championship. I am looking forward to returning to Moyvalley and with a bit of good form, I believe I can run it close again.”
Niall Kearney was the last back-to-back winner of the Irish Championship in 2014 and 2015. He followed in the footsteps of some Irish golfing giants including Padraig Harrington, Paul McGinley, Christy O’Connor and Harry Bradshaw.
McGrane holed a number of crucial putts over the closing holes to edge out Simon Thornton last year and he believes that having a razor-sharp short game will be the key to success over the Twin Oaks Championship course in 2017.
“Last year the weather was poor. The course was in good condition but the weather didn’t lead to low scoring,” he said.

“Moyvalley is not overly difficult off the tee so ultimately it will boil down to something of a short game contest. Anyone looking to do well will have to perform around the greens.

“Moving the tournament to a better date will hopefully help with the weather but a lot of the players probably won’t just be as match fit because it is a bit earlier in the season.
“Mind you, the Irish Championship remains the highlight of the season and I can see most of the guys going out of their way to get some golf and get some practice under their belts before they arrive at Moyvalley.”
The Irish Championship forms the centre piece of a competition schedule that will see Damien play events on the Irish region alongside the BMW PGA Championship, the Irish Open and the Challenge Tour.
“I have been away so much over the course of my career that I have very little interest in travelling,” he added.
“I am at a different stage in my career now and I enjoy playing the Irish Region but I am still very competitive as a person so I want to play well when I go out to play and I expect to do well.
“I finished in the top 10 top at the Challenge Tour event at Galgorm Castle last year. Whenever I get a chance to demonstrate that competitive edge I will load up the car and go down the road.”

* The Irish PGA Championship returns to the Twin Oaks Championship Course at Moyvalley Hotel & Golf Resort in Co Kildare from Thursday 22 June – Sunday 25 June.
The tournament features a prize fund of €30,000 and will be preceded on Wednesday June 21 by a Pro-Am which is a key fundraising event for the Shabra Charity Foundation.
For further information on booking a team at the “107th PGA Championship Pro Am Tournament” please contact The PGA in Ireland on (0)42 932 1193.

Robert Moran wins at Lough Erne to secure place in Faldo Series Grand Final

April 7, 2017

Robert Moran (Castle) won the 2017 Faldo Series Ireland Championship

Robert Moran produced the best round of the day to win the Faldo Series Ireland at Lough Erne Resort by a single shot.
The Castle GC member fired an excellent final round of 69 – four shots better than any other player on the day – to book his ticket to the illustrious Faldo Series Grand Final.
The competitors battled tough windy conditions at the famed Faldo Course. Two brilliant rounds from the top two players aside, every other golfer posted 72 or over.
Moran was off the pace on day one but he hung in until he finally overhauled David Kitt (Athenry) on the 16th hole of the final day.
Kitt can count himself incredibly unfortunate not to make the Faldo Series Grand Final. His opening round of 68 was an exhilarating exhibition of golf but his fellow Under-18 competitor Moran was also in sublime form.
Rory Williamson (Holywood) came to Lough Erne as the defending Champion. Although unable to defend his title, he won the Under-21 section by three shots.
He was also only two shots behind the overall victor. A sumptuous eagle on the difficult ninth hole was the highlight of the day for Williamson who will go to his second Grand Final in September.
Emma Forbes (Royal Portrush) will line up in her first Grand Final after winning the Under-21 Girls’ section.
Forbes overcame some shaky moments to claim a one-shot victory over Gemma McCarthy (Clonmel). McCarthy finished well but had to eventually settle for runner-up.
Anna Foster (Elm Park) edged out Ella Hammond-Baveystock (Wentworth) to win the Girls’ Under-16 category by one shot. Foster birdied the 17th to seal the win and will head to her first Faldo Series Grand Final.

Leading final scores: Faldo Series Ireland
Boys Collated Results
Girls Collated Results

Selected Scores
Boys’ Under-21: 145 – Rory Williamson (Holywood) 72-73; 148 – Shane McDermott (Cavan) 74-74, Jamie Fletcher (Warrenpoint) 73-75.
Boys’ Under-18: 143 – Robert Moran (Castle) 74-69; 144 –David Kitt (Athenry) 68-76.
Girls’ Under 21: 165 – Emma Forbes (Royal Portrush) 82-83; 166 – Gemma Mccarthy (Clonmel) 86-80.
Girls’ Under-16: 172 – Anna Foster (Elm Park) 88-84; 173 Ella Hammond-Baveystock (Wentworth) 86-87.

For full scores and results from the Faldo Series Ireland Championship visit www.faldoseries.com. You can also follow the Faldo Series on Facebook at www.facebook.com/faldoseries and on Twitter atwww.twitter.com/faldoseries.

 

Slieve Russell Masters Pro-Am goes back to the future to celebrate 25th Anniversary

April 4, 2017


The Slieve Russell Masters Pro-Am, always one of the highlights of the PGA in Ireland schedule, celebrates its silver anniversary in 2017.
Organisers of the two-day event at the famed Co Cavan venue will mark the occasion by inviting all the previous winners back to compete in this year’s tournament which will be staged on June 26th and 27th.
“Hosting the annual Pro-Am is the most significant date in our annual golfing calendar,” said Tony Walker, General Manager, Slieve Russell.

“This year we are particularly delighted to be celebrating our 25th anniversary, making us one of the longest-running Pro-Ams on the Irish PGA schedule. We all look forward to welcoming back the golfers who have made this event so popular over the years.”

Graeme Dunlea (l) with Tony Walker and John Dwyer (r) shared the title in 2014

The tournament has been well supported by PGA professionals and has always attracted some of Ireland’s leading lights.
Ryder Cup hero, Eamonn Darcy has a hat trick of wins to his name, claiming first prize in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
Christy O’Connor Jnr shared first place in 1998 while another of Ireland’s Ryder Cup heroes, Philip Walton, has won it twice in 2002 and 2004.
Waterville’s David Higgins, another three-time winner, holds the record for the lowest winning score, 12 under par, set in 2010.
It is a mark that has remained firmly out of reach in recent years. Neil O’Briain made it back-to-back successes in 2016 by firing rounds of 72/68 to finish on four under par.
PGA in Ireland secretary, Michael McCumiskey said; “The Slieve Russell Masters has been one of the best supported events on the PGA calendar ever since it was first played in October 1993.
“Some people have made a habit of making an annual trip to the event. The attraction is not only the golf course but all of the facilities located there.
“A decision was taken in the mid-1990s to attract European Tour players and the prize-fund was dramatically increased, along with support for local and national charities. Now in it’s 25 year, we look forward with great enthusiasm to June, and visiting the Slieve Russell once again.”
Entry for the 2017 Slieve Russell Masters Pro-Am costs €750 which includes a practice round on the Sunday followed by the par-3 tournament, barbecue and access to a very special golfing entertainment package.
A special B&B rate is available for competing PGA professionals.
To enter a team for this event please contact: Gordon Smyth or Aine McCluskey at 00353 49 9526444 or email: gordon.smyth@slieverussell.ie or aine.mccluskey@slieverussell.ie.

Roll of Honour
2016 – Neil O’Briain (Old Conna) -4 (140)
2015 – Neil O’Briain (Old Conna) -2 (142)
2014 – John Dwyer & Graeme Dunlea -5 (139)
2013 – John Kelly (St. Margarets) -3 (141)
2012 – David Higgins (Waterville) -5 (139)
2011 – Peter Lawrie -4 (140)
2010 – David Higgins (Waterville) -12 (132)
2009 – Michael McGeady (North West) -7 (137)
2008 – Robert Giles (Greenore) -6 (138)
2007 – David Higgins (Waterville) -3 (141)
2006 – Damien McGrane -6 (138)
2005 – Stephen Browne -7 (137)
2004 – Philip Walton -11 (133)
2003 – John Dwyer -1 (71)
2002 – Philip Walton Par (144)
2001 – Francis Howley -7 (137)
2000 – John Dignam -5 (139)
1999 – Eamonn Darcy -2 (142)
1998 – Eamonn Darcy, Raymond Burns, Robert Giles, Christy O’Connor Jnr & Leslie Walker -1 (143)
1997 – Eamonn Darcy
1996 – Damien McGrane -3 (141)
1995 – Brendan McGovern -2 (142)
1994 – Geoff Loughrey -2 (142)
1993 – Martin Sludds -2 (142)

NI Open embraces change and tweaks format to create Shootout Sunday

March 30, 2017

Ryan Fox plays into the 18th on his way to victory at last year’s NI Open (Photo by PressEye)

It’s all change for this year’s NI Open at Galgorm Castle in the shape of a new format and a new presenting sponsor, Modest! Golf.
Now in its fifth year, the NI Open is one of the best-supported events on the Challenge Tour schedule, both in terms of attendances and depth of field.
This year the NI Open has embraced the European Tour’s vision of introducing fresh new ideas and innovation to professional golf with the introduction of Shootout Sunday.
At this year’s event 156 players will tee it up ahead of the traditional 36-hole cut, before a 54-hole cut on Saturday followed by five rounds of six-hole strokeplay matches in what will be a high octane and dramatic #ShootoutSunday.
Note the fact that it is Strokeplay. This tweak sets the event apart from the recent Super 6’s in Perth and ensures that every match will finish on the 18th (see below for full details).
Tournament ambassador Michael Hoey has backed the changes.
“The NI Open comes hot on the heels of the Irish Open and what is being devised here at Galgorm is an exciting new twist which sets it apart from anything we’ve ever had in Northern Ireland,” said Hoey, a five–time European Tour winner, who finished eighth at Galgorm in 2016 behind winner Ryan Fox from New Zealand.

“We have spoken to several players about the change in format, including last year’s winner Ryan, and all agreed that the new format is an extremely exciting new prospect. The NI Open’s unique and innovative strokeplay matches on the Sunday are a first for professional golf and is sure to be a highlight on the global golfing calendar.

Niall Horan and the Modest! team

“The new format is certain to be more entertaining for spectators, especially with holes like the redesigned par three seventh sure to throw up plenty of drama as crowds converge at strategic parts of the course.”
The innovation has also been backed by Mark McDonnell, Director of Modest Golf.
We are delighted to return to the NI Open, this time as Presenting Sponsor. We love working alongside the European Challenge Tour and Galgorm Castle and this year is set to be bigger and better than ever before,” he said.
Fellow Modest! Golf Director Niall Horan commented: “We are excited to be returning to the NI Open and introducing a brand new format. Shootout Sunday will be an exciting concept, both for the players and for spectators.”
The NI Open’s exciting new format offers a new dimension that complements the staging of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Portstewart earlier in the holidays.
Interactive and family events will also be on site at Galgorm Castle during the NI Open and one of the province’s sporting highlights will once again have FREE entry for all spectators.

The NI OPEN 2017
Round 1: 156 players begin three rounds of strokeplay
Round 2: 36-hole cut following close of play (Top 60 and ties)
Round 3: 54-hole cut following close of play (Top 24) to include play-off if required
NI Open Shootout Sunday: Five rounds of six-hole strokeplay matches
– The top eight players after 54 holes of strokeplay will receive a bye into the second round of matches and will be seeded.
– The remaining 16 players (positions 9-24) will be randomly paired for the first round matches.
– If there are any ties for 24th position, a sudden-death play-off (18th hole) will determine the qualifiers following the completion of 54 holes.
– The losing quarter-finalists will contest matches to determine positions 5-8 and the losing semi-finalists will contest a match to determine 3-4.
-Any matches level after six holes will be determined by playing the 1st hole (rounds one and two) or a shortened version of the 18th hole (quarter finals, semi-finals and final) as a sudden-death play-off hole.

The clock is ticking, don’t miss out, grab your tickets for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

March 28, 2017

The countdown has officially begun and with only 100 days left until the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, hosted by the Rory Foundation tees off at Portstewart, Tourism NI is urging fans to book their tickets and accommodation now to avoid disappointment later.
With confirmation that former winners Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry will be lining up alongside Rory McIlroy at this year’s tournament, Tourism NI Director of Events and Business Support Aine Kearney is urging fans to book their tickets now before it’s too late.
Aine said, “Following the success of the Irish Open in 2012 (Royal Portrush) and 2015 (Royal Co Down) with the support of the European Tour and the Rory Foundation we are gearing up for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open 2017 to be the biggest and best Irish Open yet. Tens of thousands of tickets have already been sold, with only 100 days to go to the tournament and with big names still to be announced we are confident this event will sell out.

“The potential of golf tourism is huge with the average golf visitor spending over £1700 per trip. Tourism NI wants to grow total revenue from golf tourism from £32 million to £50 million by 2020 and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is the perfect opportunity to showcase our world class golf courses to golfing audiences around the world.”

Aine Kearney, Tourism NI Director of Business Support and Events and Simon Alliss, Irish Open Championship Director, put in some practice at Portstewart Golf Club

Expectations are high that upwards of 100,000 spectators will attend the tournament at Portstewart Golf Club from the 6th to the 9th July.
Simon Alliss, the European Tour’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Championship Director, said: “The countdown is really now on for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in July and there are a host of exciting announcements to be made in the coming weeks and months.
“So we would urge golf fans across the island of Ireland to get booking as we have already had two sell-out Irish Opens on Northern Irish soil and we expect this one to be no different.
“A percentage of all ticket sales go to the Rory Foundation to help make children’s lives better, so all those purchasing tickets will also be contributing to a great cause.”
The Rory Foundation today announced that Sport Changes Life will be the primary beneficiary of this year’s tournament.
Sport Changes Life work in disadvantaged communities in Northern Ireland to help young people find a path to a brighter future with the help of international student-athletes, the Victory Scholars.
The money raised by the Rory Foundation for Sport Changes Life will go towards their eHoops programme. eHoops is a 24 week programme designed for teenagers aged between 14 and 19 years of age.
The programme is created to mentor young people through difficult times in their lives and address social issues of concern with the aim to help the young people with their education, job search, health and mental well-being through the aid of the Victory Scholars.
Sport Changes Life are currently aiming to establish the programme in Coleraine, Ballymena, Portrush, Londonderry and Belfast.
Other charities in the region who will also benefit, will be announced over the coming months.

For more information please visit https://www.discovernorthernireland.com/irish-open-2017/
To buy tickets to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation please visithttp://dubaidutyfreeirishopen.com/

Williamson to defend Faldo Series Ireland title at Lough Erne Resort

March 27, 2017


The new Faldo Series season begins at the stunning Lough Erne Resort on April 3-4.
Lough Erne will welcome a field brimming with talent for the tenth Faldo Series Ireland Championship with places in the 21st Faldo Series Grand Final awaiting the age group winners.
Competitors aged 12 to 21 still have an opportunity to enter the Faldo Series Ireland Championship.
Any entrants will be wary of defending champion, Holywood’s Rory Williamson, whose mastery of the conditions in his final round was decisive in winning the tournament in 2016.
Irishmen Paddy Culhane and Eoin Murphy have shown form in the Faldo Series and will look to depose Williamson to take the glory for themselves.
Around 90 golfers will line up in the tenth Ireland Championship, to be played over two rounds on the Faldo Course at Lough Erne.
The field will be divided into five age-groups – three for boys and two for girls – and the winners of each division will again join Faldo at the season-ending 21st Faldo Series Grand Final, a 54-hole World Amateur Golf Ranking event.
Today, 40 Faldo Series tournaments take place in 30-plus countries worldwide, touching thousands of golfers each year.
Past winners include Major Champions Tseng Ya-ni and Rory McIlroy, who took his tally of professional Major titles to four with his wins at the 2014 Open Championship and US PGA Championship.

To enter the Faldo Series go to www.faldoseries.com.
For more information on the Faldo Series visit www.nickfaldo.com.
You can also follow the Faldo Series on Facebook at www.facebook.com/faldoseries and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/faldoseries.

Injury free Chris Selfridge sets sights on breakthrough Challenge Tour win in 2017

March 22, 2017


Far away from the glitz and glamour of the WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play in Texas the Challenge Tour is finally getting under way in Kenya tomorrow.
Europe’s second-tier is emerging from hibernation and Cormac Sharvin, Michael Hoey, Gary Hurley and Chris Selfridge have been enticed to Nairobi’s Muthaiga Golf Club for the season opener.
Selfridge is eager to get going after his 2016 campaign was wrecked by a niggling wrist problem. A similar injury also put paid to his Euro Tour Q-School ambitions in 2015.
“I tore a ligament in my wrist a few weeks after the NI Open in August,” said the 24-year-old who is embarking on his third season on tour.
“I was out for a few weeks and then I came back for the Kazakhstan Open and it happened again as I was hacking out of the rough. I knew straight away.
“So then I was out for another four weeks, came back to play in the UAE and went to Q-School but I never made it through. By that stage I was healthy, but just too rusty.”
Chris has spent the off-season working with physios at the Sports Institute of Northern Ireland (SINI) and other experts to strengthen and protect the problem area and early season preparations have been positive.
“I haven’t had any issues while I have been playing and practicing,” he added.
“The last two seasons I have been looking good to make it to the European Tour.
“In 2015 the injury happened at Q-School when I was playing really well. And then last year, right in the middle of the season when I was in the top 30 of the Challenge Tour rankings.

“It is frustrating, but golf is frustrating, there is nothing else for it; you have to get on with it.

“I went to Portugal for a few weeks in January to play some mini-tour golf.
“It was a chance to ‘stress test’ the wrist and it went well, I played some pretty good golf considering I hadn’t played a lot of competitive golf in two and half months.”


In two full seasons on tour Chris had proven himself a consistent performer but that first win is proving elusive. His best finish is a tie for fourth at the Challenge de Madrid last year.
He needs to make that breakthrough and maybe having the experienced Michael Hoey around can help.
Hoey, who lost his full European Tour card last year has four wins at Challenge Tour level, the last of those coming at the Madeira Islands Open in 2011. The 38-year-old recently showed some signs of a return to form by finishing tied for eighth at the Hero India Open.
“We are rooming together in Kenya. He is a good guy to be around,” added Chris.
“I’m looking forward to getting the season started again and I would love to finally get a win.
“I know I am good enough, I have played loads of good golf, it’s just a matter of continuing to work hard, keep doing what I am doing and the results will come.”

City of Derry GC and Foyle Golf Centre named joint hosts of the Walled City Pro-Am

March 17, 2017

At the Walled City Pro-Am Launch are, back row (l-r) Christine Mitchell, Lady Captain, City of Derry Golf Club; Mike Carroll, Captain, City of Derry Golf Club; Michael McCumiskey, PGA in Ireland; Lady Mayor Alderman Hilary McClintock, Mayor of Derry City & Strabane District Council; Simon Thornton, PGA Professional; Martin Campbell, Captain, Foyle Golf Centre and Florence Rankin, Lady Captain, Foyle Golf Centre. Front row L-R: Odhran Dunne, Visit Derry and Ciaran O Neill, Bishop’s Gate Hotel

The largest event in this year’s PGA in Ireland calendar, the Walled City of Derry Pro-Am, will take place in Derry City on August 26 and 27.
For the first time ever, the tournament will be hosted by two venues, the City of Derry Golf Club and Foyle International Golf Centre.
Launching the tournament, Ordhan Dunne, General Manager, Visit Derry said: “Ireland’s North West region is currently at the forefront of golf tourism on the island and whilst this tournament will be an excellent opportunity to promote the quality of the city’s parkland golf, it will further enhance our reputation as a central hub for golfers to enjoy a premier golf and tourism experience.”
Visit Derry in partnership with Derry City and Strabane Council are sponsoring the tournament which will be one of the top attractions in the North West social and sporting calendar this summer.
In 2013, Derry-Londonderry was awarded City of Culture status and enjoyed a change of attitude and a new pride in cultural identity.
It was an incredible year as the City hosted a raft of events including, the City of Culture 2013 Pro-Am, which was won by Simon Thornton, who carded rounds of 68/65 at City of Derry GC to win by four shots.
Local businesses such as Bishop’s Gate Hotel, Diageo NI, Total Golf, Nuprint, Desmond Motors, Partridge Peartree and Mint Bet have been instrumental in attracting Irish PGA professionals back to the City. This tournament will showcase local and international talent while making a significant contribution to the local economy.
Michael McCumiskey, secretary of the PGA in Ireland, stated; “This event will attract the top Irish PGA Professionals from all over Ireland. They will be competing against each other for the title and guaranteed prize pot of 15000 euros whilst teams of three amateurs will compete alongside the professional for the coveted team prize. The event will have both ladies and gents sections.
“On the Friday a junior event will take place, which is kindly supported by Irish PGA professionals. Undoubtedly, golf enthusiasts from across the North West and further afield will be keen to see PGA professionals play and I’m sure there will be high demand for spaces on teams. It will be a very busy weekend for the City.”
To obtain an entry form contact Sammy at City of Derry Golf Club on 028 7131 1496 or Conor at Foyle International Golf Centre on 028 7135 2222.