Hoey committed to promoting benefits of NI Open

Michael Hoey in action at the Northern Ireland Open Challenge

Michael Hoey in action at the Northern Ireland Open Challenge

It’s taken some time for Michael Hoey to fully settle into the role as tournament ambassador for the NI Open Challenge.
Aside for a penchant for fast cars, the 35-year-old could never be described as overly flamboyant or publicity hungry.
Yet, as tournament week approaches it is almost impossible to separate Michael Hoey from Galgorm Castle and the NI Open.
It seems in so many ways a perfect fit for everyone involved, one that’s benefited the tournament and also Michael himself.
“I suppose I know what to do this time around and I can call on the experience from last year,” said the five-time tour winner.
“It was a bit intimidating when I took on the role. It was a new thing for me but I do fit the role in terms of having played on the Challenge Tour and then going on to do well on the European Tour.
“It is a nice position to be in. The golf isn’t everything on this occasion but I want to do better than I did last year [when he missed the cut], I really want to do well in the event.
“Away from the golf I have enjoyed working with everyone at Galgorm. I have got to know them better and they are good people. The club is progressive, there’s something a bit different about how they go about things.
“I have wanted to do things right promoting the NI Open Challenge and I have spent a fair bit of time on it. I skipped a couple of events because of my role but it has been good for me as well. When you see what the younger lads can get from the tournament being held here it makes it worthwhile.

“Let’s be honest, golf is an inherently selfish game. We are often not worried about what other people get from it but it is a good thing to be involved with something positive.”

On the course and prior to his unfortunate withdrawal from the Open Championship through injury, Michael has been enjoying a consistent season in which he has made plenty of cuts and collected four top 10 finishes.
Currently ranked 40th in the Race to Dubai he’s in position to launch a late season bid for a place in the Dubai World Championship at the end of the year.
“Things are a bit stop/start at the moment but after Galgorm I plan to play three in a row in Switzerland, Holland and Wales,” he added.
“I don’t normally set very specific goals, there’s so much in the game that is out of a player’s control, but I would love to book my place in next year’s Open Championship by finishing inside the top 30 on the money list at the end of the season. I’d also like to get back into the top 100 in the world rankings in time to secure a spot in the US PGA Championship next year.”


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