Posts Tagged ‘David Jones’

Kilpatrick to realise Irish Open ambition at Portstewart

June 28, 2017

Richard Kilpatrick

Banbridge professional, Richard Kilpatrick, will realise a long-held ambition when he plays in next week’s DDF Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation.
Richard earned his place in the Irish Open field by finishing sixth in the PGA in Ireland 2016 Order of Merit.
He will be joined at Portstewart by Damien McGrane, David Higgins, Colm Moriarty, Neil O’Briain and Simon Thornton
“I can’t wait. The crowds, the buzz, the field that is being assembled. I can’t wait to tee it up, let it go and see what happens. It will be some test,” said the Banbridge GC assistant.
“I had the chance to play in the Irish Open as an amateur but it often clashed with the Brabazon Trophy and the GUI would send us over to England to compete in that instead.
“It means a lot to get to play in my first Irish Open up here (Northern Ireland) and at Portstewart as well. My aunt has a place in the town and I played the course a lot as an amateur.
“Even now, during the winter and when I can in the summer months I try to get up and play. The club professional, Neil Graham, has been very good in accommodating me.”
Richard turned professional in 2007 after winning the East of Ireland Championship and helping Ireland collect the European Team Championship title.
He spent the best part of eight years playing on the Challenge Tour, Alps Tour and EuroPro Tour before opting to follow the PGA route.
He has performed impressively on the PGA in Ireland circuit in recent seasons and has two wins to his name in 2017 at the PGA Irish Club Pro-Am and the Ruddy Cup for Young Professionals.
And whilst he may be inexperienced in terms of playing at the highest level, he may have pulled off a masterstroke when is comes to hiring a caddy for the week.
Former college team mate and major winning LPGA caddy, David Jones, will lug Richard’s bag around Portstewart during tournament week.
Jones, who was formerly the PGA professional at Bushfoot GC, also happens to be a member at Portstewart GC and has cleared his schedule to caddy for Richard in the Irish Open.
“I’ve known Davy for years. I was starting my first year of college in America at the University of Toledo just as he was finishing his studies there. He was the groomsman at my wedding last December ” added Richard.

“The thing for me will be getting used to the atmosphere, to the grandstands and the corporate boxes. I’ve played a few rounds up there recently trying to familiarise myself with the place and how it will look during tournament week.”

That’s not something Damien McGrane will have to worry about. The Kells man has been there, done it and bought the t-shirt. McGrane topped the Order of Merit last year and also won the Irish PGA Championship. He is leading the way again in 2017 and if his competitive instincts take over he is capable of making an impact at Portstewart.
You can put Simon Thornton into the same bracket. A winner on the European Tour in 2013 (Najeti Hotels et Golfs Open), Simon is still returning to full fitness following surgery to his feet at the start of the year.
“I think I’ve only missed one [Irish Open] in recent years. It is a great event and you get used to playing in them but this will be a bit different now that’s it’s part of the Rolex Series,” said the 40-year-old.
“For us, as PGA guys, you have to try and blank all that out. You can’t really start thinking about the money that is on offer. You have to focus on those first two rounds and if you can make the cut great, then try and do as well as you can.”

A longer version of this article appeared in the July edition of Irish Golfer Magazine


Moriarty to defend PGA Ulster Championship title at Hilton Templepatrick

September 23, 2015
Paula Collin, Hilton Templepatrick; Colm Moriarty; Adrian Byrne, HBE Risk Management

Paula Collins, Hilton Templepatrick; Colm Moriarty; Adrian Byrne, HBE Risk Management

Colm Moriarty (Drive Golf Performance) will defend his HBE Risk Management PGA Ulster Championship title at the Hilton Templepatrick October 7-8.
Last year, the Glasson man carded rounds of 65/70 at the Co Antrim venue to finish the tournament on nine under par, some distance ahead of nearest rivals Ciaran Molloy (Blackwood GC), Dara Lernihan (Elm Park) and Neil O’Briain (Old Conna GC).
“I’m looking forward to getting back up to the Hilton,” said Moriarty who has won four times already this season and is riding high in the PGA in Ireland Order of Merit in third place.

“It’s always a great event on a quality golf course. Eamonn Logue, the staff at the Hilton and sponsors HBE make a big effort to put on an top class tournament.”

This will be the seventh staging of the Ulster Championship at the Hilton. Amongst the former winners of the event are Damien Mooney (Ballyliffin), Simon Thornton (Team Ireland) and Niall Kearney (Royal Dublin).
PGA Irish Region Secretary Michael McCumiskey said; “We have had six fantastic events in the past at Templepatrick in 2001/02/11/12/13 and 2014 and we are again looking to repeat past successes with the support from members and local club golfers.”
Designed by David Jones and David Feherty, the par-72, 7000 yard course opened in 1999 and nestles within 220 acres of mature parkland on the Castle Upton Estate.
“Michael Loughran and his greenkeeping staff will, as usual, have the course in great condition for the event.” said Paula Collins the Hotel Manager.
Club Captain Niall Gallagher is also delighted to offer a warm welcome to all the amateurs and professionals taking part in the event.
He said; “The members and I were delighted when it was confirmed that the Ulster PGA Championship was returning for the seventh time in 2015. We look forward to watching and learning how the game is played by Ireland’s top professional golfers on our magnificent course.”
Adrian Byrne Managing Director of HBE Risk Management said; “We are delighted to be once again sponsoring this great event in a fantastic location at Hilton Templepatrick.”
The tournament begins with a shoot-gun pro-am on October 6 followed by two days of competition for the professionals. Entries for the Pro-Am are available by contacting Eamonn on 02894 435542 or via e-mail

Beefed up Malone ready for Vagliano Trophy

June 15, 2015
The visually intimidating 15th at Malone GC

The visually intimidating 15th at Malone GC

It’s seven years since Malone GC hosted a major ladies tournament when Scotland’s Roseanne Niven (Crief) beat Kylie Walker (Buchanan Castle) on the first extra hole to win the Ladies British Open Stroke-play Championship.
In the intervening period the course has undergone some significant changes and competitors playing in the Vagliano Trophy at the end of this month will find a stiffer test.
Six of the greens, the first, third, sixth, seventh, eighth and 18th have been completely reconstructed under the watchful eye of David Jones whilst a number of bunkers have also been removed.
“We always found that when people came here to play there was very little in the way of home advantage,” said club manager Paddy Dean.
“The changes that have been made including more contours on the greens has beefed up the front nine in terms of the test of golf.

“The front nine used to be two shots harder than the back nine – now it’s closer to four shots harder.

“The back nine had a fairly easy finishing stretch but the changes to the 18th have toughened that up.
“From a tournament perspective it will make it tougher for the competitors but from a match-play perspective it will hopefully be more exciting.”
Malone has always been considered one of Ireland’s finest in-land courses and was recently ranked 44th by Golf World magazine. Designed by CK Cotton it is set in 330 acres of undulating wooded parkland and features 27 holes of secluded gently undulating countryside just five miles from Belfast City centre. The centrepiece of the course is a beautiful natural trout lake which extends for some 25 acres.
Patrick continued; “Drainage issues forced us to focus on the greens. They were great in the summer because the clay retained the heat but in the winter they were poor.
“Now they are free draining and it just gave us an opportunity to tweak them slightly and make it a bit more interesting and challenging.
“The signature hole, the par three 15th has also undergone some changes but they are mostly cosmetic. The length hasn’t changed – it’s still only 135 yards – but it is more visually intimidating.
“A sleeper edge that was originally supposed to be just around the green has been extended right back to the tee. The surrounds and contours have also been altered.”
Both Olivia Mehaffey (RCD Ladies) and world number one ranked amateur, Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell), have been included in the GB&I team to face Continental Europe in the two-day day match-play event on June 26th-27th.
“We’d love to see people come down and watch the event and given the local interest with Leona and Olivia involved we’re hoping that people will turn up,” added Paddy.
“This is a prestige event and the club sees it as an opportunity to showcase the course to a new audience.”

Kearney chasing hat-trick of titles at Ulster PGA Championship

September 3, 2014

The 13th at Hilton Templepatrick

The Ulster PGA Championship, sponsored by HBE Risk Management, will return to the Hilton Templepatrick for the fourth year in succession from September 23-25.
“We have had three really fantastic events at Templepatrick which has been well supported by the members at the venue,” said PGA in Ireland Secretary Michael McCumiskey.
“We look forward to another excellent tournament with HBE Risk Management returning as title sponsors for the second year.”
Designed by David Jones and David Feherty, the par-72, 7000 yard course opened in 1999 and nestles within 220 acres of mature parkland on the Castle Upton Estate.
Niall Kearney (Royal Dublin GC) will be going for a hat-trick of titles at the Co Antrim venue. The 26-year-old carded a course record, seven under par 65 in his opening round last year at a tournament curtailed by torrential rain which washed out the second day of play.
“I always enjoy playing at Templepatrick and I would love to make it three-in-a-row,” said Kearney who finished tied for 38th at the recent NI Open Challenge.
Last year, Damien McGrane, runner up at the Russian Open played in the event and it is hoped that the scheduling of the tournament, coming as it does in Ryder Cup week, could possibly attract a number of other European Tour regulars to compete.
Adrian Byrne, managing director at HBE Risk Management commented; “HBE are delighted to sponsor the PGA Ulster Championship at the Hilton Templepatrick for the second year in a row. “This event has become one of the key tournaments in Northern Ireland for the PGA tour calendar.
“There is great excitement in Compliance House about the Pro-Am event with all staff keen to show their golfing prowess so they can represent the company on the day.

“The Pro-golfers, the Hilton Templepatrick staff and the PGA team that supported our Pro-Am teams last year were simply excellent.They really made the event for many of our guests, some of whom are still talking about it!

“We’re really delighted to sponsor the event this year, and of course, we’re hoping for some good weather and some of the luck (and skill) that Rory has been enjoying!”
HBE Risk Management is recognised by businesses all over the UK and Ireland as one of the leading environmental consultancy and risk management companies.
Founded in 2001, HBE provides a range services on a local basis to assist building managers and facilities managers in providing a safe and healthy building environment for their employees and visitors from offices in Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast, Newry, Dublin and Cork.
Paula Collins Hilton Hotel Manager, also stated that she was delighted to welcome back the PGA Professionals to Hilton Templepatrick.
“Michael Loughran and his green keeping staff have worked tirelessly to prepare for this and all other events during the season,” she said.
“The golf course has been receiving fantastic feedback throughout the season.”
Eamonn Logue, Director Of Golf, added; “We are really looking forward to the return of the HBE Risk Management Ulster PGA Championship. The comments received from both professionals and amateurs who played in 2013 were tremendous and we hope to repeat that success for all involved.”
The tournament begins with a pro-am on September 23 followed by two days of competition for the professionals on the 24th and 25th.
Team entries for the Pro-Am are still available by contacting Eamonn on 02894 435542 or via e-mail