Posts Tagged ‘Niall Horan’

NI Open looks to the future unveiling 2019 plans for joint men’s and ladies’ event

August 15, 2018

Modest! Golf Director Mark McDonnell (l) with Gary Henry, Managing Director at Galgorm Castle, and NI Open Tournament Ambassador Michael Hoey

They’ve never been afraid of innovation at Galgorm Castle.
On Tuesday, organisers of the NI Open unveiled plans for an ambitious new departure, one that will bring a Challenge Tour event and a Ladies European Tour event together under one banner from 2019 onwards.
Last year, the tournament introduced a match-play element as a one-off concept and from next year there will be two NI Open champions.
Plans at this stage will see Massereene Golf Club in Antrim used as the second host course alongside the NI Open’s perennial home at Galgorm Castle in Ballymena. There will be two 72-hole strokeplay events with both venues used before play concludes for both events at Galgorm Castle.
These are full-field events, 156 men and 140+ women and crucially the winners will walk away with the same prize money.
“You can just picture the scene on the final day, watching the last groups of the ladies coming through battling it out for their title and then the men battling out for their title,” said Gary Henry, NI Open Event Director.
“We all are aware that you have to excite sponsors and it is reasonable to say that some of the potential sponsors we have been talking to are a lot more excited about this concept than a normal men-only event.

“The NI Open is currently one Northern Ireland’s core international tourism events. This next stage takes the event onto a global level and that is a fundamental change. That is going to be achieved by having the likes of Leona Maguire who is performing on the world stage coming here to compete along with the exciting talent and established stars on the Challenge Tour.”

Modest! Golf Director Niall Horan and their management company have been involved with the NI Open for several years and their continued support has unquestionably raised the profile and also helped their vision of trying to “develop the next generation of players”.
Modest! Golf is a boutique golf management company with a select number of players on the books, including Lisa and Leona Maguire, who joined the Modest! stable in 2018.
“From our point of view, we have always challenged Gary and the team here. Asking them how they can make the NI Open bigger and better,” said Modest! Golf director, Mark McDonnell.
“Last year’s Shoot-out Sunday was always going to be a one-off, it was a way to shake things up. We can’t think of a better time to launch this new vision for the NI Open. It is an opportunity to shine a light on some highly talented young golfers, like the Maguire girls and give them a stage to showcase what they can do.”

The idea of bringing ladies and men’s tournaments together is not a unique concept. The joint format was introduced at the Vic Open in Australia and has evolved into one of the country’s most high profile professional events while last week, tournament ambassador Michael Hoey, played in the European Team Golf Championships at Gleneagles.
It will, however, signal the long-overdue return of a Ladies Pro event to Ireland for the first time since 2012 when Scotland’s Catriona Matthew won the Ladies Irish Open at Killeen Castle in County Meath, venue for the 2011 Solheim Cup.
Lisa Maguire, who played in Wednesday’s NI Open Pro-Am, believes the announcement could not come at a better time.
“Irish Ladies golf is very strong just now. There’s a good group with Olivia (Mehaffey), Paula (Grant), Steph (Meadow) is over in the States too and Leona and myself,” said the 23-year-old.

“A new Irish Ladies event will play an important role in helping players progress. It’s a long time back to 2012 when the last Ladies Irish Open was played at Killeen Castle, and last time in Northern Ireland was Hilton Templepatrick in 2007. That was Leona’s and my first LET event.

“I think the more events we can get on the LET the better and players always love to come and play great venues, which Galgorm is. There’s a lot of excitement, a lot of buzz already about the plans for 2019.”


It’s a brave new professional world for Leona and Lisa Maguire

June 7, 2018

The Maguire twins launched themselves into the pro ranks in some style yesterday ahead of Friday’s debut at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.
“It’s been a long time coming. I’ve waited to turn pro since we were little kids. This first week at ShopRite, couldn’t really ask for a better start,” said Leona, the former leading amateur player in the world who was No.1 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking for a record 131 consecutive weeks.
Lisa and Leona have agreed a management deal with Modest! Golf and will be sponsored by KPMG with other brand associations including Allianz, PUMA Golf clothing and PING golf equipment.
It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks for the 23-year-old sisters from Co Cavan who have only recently finished their four-year stint at Duke University.
“It’s been a quick transition. Went from Stillwater [venue for the NCAA finals] a few weeks ago, obviously wrapped up our careers with Duke there. We had an incredible four years. It’s been exciting trying to get all the pieces put together and ready to go this week,” added Leona.
The duo have grown up in the public eye, especially at home in Ireland, so it was no surprise to see them handling Wednesday’s press conference with relative ease.
The challenge ahead is to make the adjustment to playing for a living and that may not be plain sailing, particularly as the pair will be playing different schedules over the coming months.

“I have a full Symetra Tour card, so the next few months and weeks I will be predominately focused on that to try to get my LPGA card for next season. Probably a few LPGA invites along the way, but predominantly focusing on the Symetra Tour for the near future,” added Leona.
Lisa said; “Obviously this week is great to get the invite from ShopRite, the two of us here together. I know Modest! have been working really hard especially on my behalf especially to secure more invites. Obviously, I don’t have the same sort of status as Leona does right now.
“We’ve secured some Symetra Tour invites for the coming weeks, so I’m looking forward to playing in those, doing well in those, and securing more status kind of going forward.”
Lisa tees off on Friday from the 10th tee alongside Natalie Gulbis and Taylor Totland at 12.48pm (GMT).
Leona also tees off from the 10th at 5.48pm (GMT) paired with Maddie McCrary and Lauren Coughlin.

“I’m thrilled and very proud that Leona and Lisa have become the first Irish players to sign with the Modest! Golf management stable,” said singer/songwriter and Modest! Golf director Niall Horan.
“They’ve both represented Ireland at junior and senior amateur level with distinction and we’re confident that they’ll take the professional LPGA circuit in their stride and raise the profile of Irish golf even further.”

Horan and Modest! Golf return to back NI Open at Galgorm Castle

January 26, 2018

Robin Sciot-Siegrist winner of the 2017 NI Open along with Mark McDonnell and Niall Horan.

Niall Horan and Modest! Golf are back on board for this year’s Northern Ireland Open at Galgorm Castle.
Modest! Golf and Horan return for a third consecutive year and record crowds are expected once more when the European Challenge Tour event takes place at the Ballymena venue from August 16-19.
Horan and fellow Modest! Golf Director Mark McDonnell are currently at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai supporting their Modest! Golf players, Scotland’s Connor Syme and England’s Jack Singh Brar.
“We are delighted to announce Modest! Golf’s return to the Northern Ireland Open for the third year. The event has grown every year and we look forward to linking up with Galgorm Castle and the Challenge Tour once again,” said Horan who played alongside Rory McIlroy in the Pro-Am at the Emirates on Wednesday.
Over 43,000 spectators came through the gates at Galgorm Castle in 2017 to witness the drama unfold before Robin Sciot-Siegrist from France was crowned champion in the Shootout Sunday format.
This year, organisers have returned to the traditional 72-hole strokeplay format, which ties in with the long-term vision for future stagings of the NI Open.
“Last year Keith Pelley, European Tour Chief Executive, challenged all the major stakeholders in golf to do their bit to introduce golf to new audiences,” explained McDonnell.
“We played our part in that by attracting the biggest ever crowd to a Challenge Tour event with the introduction of Shootout Sunday.

“Interest in the NI Open has never been higher and we are excited to return to the traditional four days strokeplay and look forward to welcoming new audiences to experience the best Challenge Tour event in the world.”

The NI Open continues to be a family-friendly event and 2018 will be no different with plenty of activities and attractions to take place away from the fairways. The GolfNow Junior NI Open proved a big hit last year and will showcase the junior talent for a second time when played over the six-hole course at the Galgorm Castle’s Fun Golf Area.
The 2018 NI Open holds another key summer date on the international schedule. It is also a hugely important event for the development of Ireland’s professionals starting out in their career and looking to make their mark in the game.
“For years the NI Open has provided Irish players much-needed playing opportunities,” explains Gary Henry, Managing Director Galgorm Castle.
“Irish professionals have the chance to compete on home soil against some of the best players in the world in one of the best events on the schedule. Just as important, this event alone opens so many doors to other events across Europe and beyond by way of reciprocal invites, which helps players put together a playing schedule for the season.”
The NI Open is an integral part of the work carried out by the Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI) and the Team Ireland Golf scheme that provides grants and funding to players in the early stages of their professional career.
“This Challenge Tour event is so important to us as a business,” added Horan.

“Year on year, this tour develops the next generation of European Tour winners and Major champions and we can’t wait for the NI Open to play its part, both this year and in future years.

“We have lots of plans with Galgorm Castle to develop this event even further over the coming years.”
Tourism Ireland also plays a key role in the success of the NI Open, especially when promoting golf on the island of Ireland to an international audience.
Aubrey Irwin, Tourism Ireland, said: “The Northern Ireland Open is a wonderful event, giving us an opportunity to showcase our world-class golf courses to a huge number of golfing enthusiasts across the world.
“There is tremendous interest in this event, as part of the European Challenge Tour series, and Tourism Ireland estimates that highlights of the event will be broadcast to approximately 540 million homes, via Sky Sports and their 26 international broadcast partners, and through digital media.
“The 2018 Northern Ireland Open will once again shine a spotlight on golf here, helping us to highlight our superb parkland courses, which complement the world-class links for which Northern Ireland is known around the world.”

(The NI Open continues to be free to enter for all the family. To get your tickets for the 2018 event, simply register online at

New format never far from players’ minds at NI Open

August 11, 2017

Gary King (ENG) on the 11th tee during Round 1 of the NI Open
Picture: Golffile | Thos Caffrey

There’s a long held maxim in golf that you can’t win a tournament on the opening day but you can shoot yourself out of contention.
That dictum may never be more relevant than this week at the Galgorm Resort & Spa Northern Ireland Open presented by Modest! Golf.
The tournament has embraced a new format and it is forcing players to assess their position less in terms of leading and more in terms of remaining inside the top 24.
At the end of round one three players – Nick McCarthy, Ricardo Santos and Gary King led the way on five under par but the important score was three under par. It marked that all important potential cut-off point to reach Shootout Sunday.
“I’m very happy to start with a five under round on a golf course like that, which is playing really tough – certainly this year it’s tougher than I’ve ever seen it in the past few years,” said leader King.
“I’m trying to approach the tournament the same as any week. I’ll treat it as a three round stroke play event and then take it from there on Sunday, but the aim is to win the three days and then go again on Sunday.”
This year’s tournament will see a 36-hole cut following the close of play today to the top 60 players and ties. That will be followed on Saturday by another cut with the top 24 players making it through to Shootout Sunday, where five rounds of six-hole stroke play matches will decide the winner.

Daan Huizing
“In the end, it’s only about making the top 24
“If you are down the field, it doesn’t change anything because you have to get up
“A lot more guys are going to be charging on Saturday to make sure they are in the space for Sunday
“It is definitely different if you are leading big after three days because you are pretty much starting all over again.”

Gary Hurley
“I haven’t read too much into it.
“I didn’t play in the Spanish event that had something similar.
“I don’t really know what the format is to be honest. I’m just focused on making sure I’m in the mix for top 24 on Saturday – It’s anyone’s game then.

Horan and Modest!Golf determined to make positive impact on golfing landscape

August 8, 2017

Niall Horan at Galgorm Castle last year

Niall Horan might sing about “Slow Hands” but there will be nothing pedestrian when the action gets underway at this week’s Galgorm Resort & Spa Northern Ireland Open, presented by Modest!Golf at Galgorm Castle.
The team at Modest! have shaken things up for this year’s showpiece tournament on the international schedule with the eagerly anticipated Shootout Sunday element introduced for the first time.
It’s a brand-new format for the final day where the last remaining players will come down the stretch competing in a knockout format in front of large crowds rather than the traditional four rounds of strokeplay.
“We wanted to put a little twist on it, maybe modernise the format a bit. Golf can be perceived as a little slow and we wanted to speed things up, add more excitement,” said Horan, at this week’s announcement of their fourth player signing, Ivan Cantero Gutierrez from Spain, to the boutique management company.

“The format forces games to play six holes and make it down the 18th and build the atmosphere with a stadium finish. It also helps speed up play and gets people interested that perhaps don’t play golf.”

Introducing new people to the game and nurturing new talent is everything the Modest! team stand for. It’s one of the reasons they elevated their commitment to the NI Open this year to become the presenting sponsor alongside main title sponsor, Galgorm Resort & Spa, who have supported tournament golf at Galgorm Castle from the outset.
“This is the closest thing to a European Tour event these boys will play in. The reaction from the players has been great. You could see the smiles on their faces when we explained the new format,” added Horan.

Before the action begins in earnest on Thursday, the small matter of the Ambassadors Shootout (Tuesday) and the NI Open Pro-am (Wednesday) is the focus with stars from the sporting and entertainment world taking to the course alongside Tournament Ambassador Michael Hoey.
“Each year we have grown this great event to become even bigger and better than before. In 2017, we now have legends such as Pat Jennings and Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill plus star names like Stephen Ferris and David Healy joining us to have some fun and promote the best attended event on the European Challenge Tour schedule,” said Hoey, a five-time European Tour winner.
“I welcome the many great names who have thrown their name in the hat and will support this year’s NI Open. GAA is represented by Oisin McConville, snooker’s Mark Allen, motorsport’s William Dunlop and athletics star Michael McKillop are among the new NI Open ambassadors.”

Copy provided by Paul Gallagher courtesy of Galgorm Castle

Northern Ireland manager, Michael O’Neill, to play in NI Open Pro-Am

August 2, 2017

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill is the latest high profile signing who will tee it up in next week’s Galgorm Resort & Spa Northern Ireland Open Pro-am, presented by Modest! Golf.
O’Neill joins a host of star names from Northern Ireland’s sport and entertainment world for a day of fun next Wednesday at Galgorm Castle that serves as the curtain-raiser to the four-day tournament to get under way from August 10-13.
This year the NI Open Pro-am has attracted a stellar line-up of household names who all joined the Ambassador Club to help promote the event alongside long-time Tournament Ambassador Michael Hoey.
O’Neill is a keen golfer when not on Northern Ireland duty and this is the first time the manager will play in the NI Open Pro-am. Most of the celebrities will tee off just after midday so make sure to get to Galgorm in plenty of time. O’Neill will be joined by the likes of Michael McKillop, who recently won another middle-distance double at the World Para-athletic Championships in London.
McKillop (27) won the T37 1500m final to add to his T38 800m title to retain the two titles he won at the 2015 championships in Doha. The Glengormley athlete has totally dominated is discipline for over a decade. Next week he will face up to a new challenge on the fairways at Galgorm Castle.
Other star names to look out for include former Northern Ireland heroes David Healy and legendary goalkeeper Pat Jennings and snooker’s Mark Allen. Former Ulster, Ireland and British and Irish Lions forward Stephen Ferris and Gaelic’s former Armagh and All-Ireland Oisin McConville will also be in action at Galgorm.

Michael McKillop

Modest! Golf will be at Galgorm during tournament week with directors Niall Horan and Mark McDonnell ready to present the trophy to the NI Open winner and the lucky winners of the Junior NI Open on the 18th green in front of the grandstands after the final day Shootout Sunday.
“We say it every time but the NI Open gets better and better each year and 2017 promises to be the best yet, especially with so much to see and do for all the family,” said Hoey, a five-time European Tour winner, who finished eighth in last year’s event behind winner Ryan Fox from New Zealand.

“One of the big talking points for this year’s event is the new Shootout Sunday format where the top 24 players will battle it out in a series of high drama, six-hole matches on the final day. This will give spectators a great opportunity to see the players up close and from the grandstands around the 18th green.”

The NI Open Pro-am is another excellent day for watching some of the best players in Europe compete alongside their celebrities and team of amateurs.
The NI Open is a week-long festival of golf for all the family and entry is FREE, simply register for your tickets online at

Modest! Golf invite secures spot in NI Open for leading U18 player at NI Amateur Open

May 7, 2017

Cormac Sharvin

Two places in the NI Open are up for grabs at this year’s Northern Ireland Amateur Open at Galgorm Castle.
The winner plus the leading under-18 player will qualify for the NI Open, presented by Modest! Golf, as the golf management company extend their support of the NI Open.
The Northern Ireland Amateur Open, sponsored by Specsavers Ballymena, has become one of the province’s standout amateur championships since its inception in 2009 and this year promises to attract another quality field, especially with the added incentive of competing against Europe’s leading professionals from August 10-13.
“Last year we enjoyed a dramatic sudden death playoff before Warrenpoint’s Jamie Fletcher overcame local favourite Michael Reid from Galgorm Castle to add his name to the illustrious list of champions,” explained Galgorm Castle’s Ross Oliver.
“Walker Cup player Cormac Sharvin won in 2012, Ireland internationals Reeve Whitson (2010) and Tiarnon McLarnon (2015) also feature on the roll of honour, while Ballymena’s current shining light, Dermot McElroy, won in 2013 and went on to finish tied ninth at the NI Open and finish as leading amateur.”
Former winners such as Sharvin and McElroy will return to Galgorm to compete as touring professionals, illustrating the role tournament golf at Galgorm plays in the development of Ireland’s young amateurs and professionals.
This year’s Northern Ireland Amateur Open will also guarantee a place in the NI Open for the leading under-18 player, courtesy of an invite from Modest! Golf, as they continue to provide playing opportunities for young amateurs just like they did by inviting Tom McKibbin to play in the 2016 NI Open.

Niall Horan, Director of Modest! Golf, said: “We are excited to be involved in the Northern Ireland Amateur Open and are delighted to extend an invitation to the leading under-18 competitor. These guys are the future stars of the game and we want to support this next generation of talent.”

Tom McKibbin

Fellow Modest! Golf Director Mark McDonnell commented: “We hope this invitation to the leading under-18 player will encourage more applicants from this age group than ever before.
It’s a great platform to test and improve their game and we must thank Galgorm Castle and the European Challenge Tour as always for supporting our values and vision.”
The prestigious 36-hole strokeplay event holds a key date in a busy summer schedule for the game’s elite amateurs.
The Northern Ireland Amateur Open doesn’t clash with other championships and is expected to attract a strong field, not only for the chance to win but for the opportunity to compete in one of the best professional events on the European schedule.
Amateurs competing in the NI Open will also have the opportunity to earn ranking points in the Challenge Tour’s Road to Oman, but before that, all focus will be on becoming the 2017 Northern Ireland Amateur Open champion.
Entry forms can be downloaded at or
The closing date for entries is Monday July 3rd, 2017, entry is £35/€45 and includes lunch. For further information contact the Galgorm Castle Professional Shop on +44 (0) 28 2564 6161.

Info courtesy of Paul Gallagher

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.

Day Two recap – Colm Moriarty thrives on marathon day at NI Open

July 31, 2016
Will Besseling (NED) at the Tayto Northern Ireland Open in partnership with Ulster Bank at Galgorm Castle Golf Club,  Golffile | Thos Caffrey

Will Besseling (NED) at the Tayto Northern Ireland Open in partnership with Ulster Bank at Galgorm Castle Golf Club,
Golffile | Thos Caffrey

Colm Moriarty thrived during a marathon day of golf at Galgorm Castle to move into the top 10 at the Tayto NI Open in partnership with Ulster Bank.
The 37-year-old carded a five under par 65 to finish day two alongside Gary Hurley as the leading Irishmen in a truly international field.
At six under par, Colm is three shots behind the leader, Dutchman Wil Besseling, who followed up an opening round 68 with a 65.
“I played quite nicely. Played lovely this afternoon and holed a few putts,” said Colm.

“If you keep it out of the rough I suppose it makes the course playable, if you are in the rough it’s difficult.”

The tournament is still playing catch-up after torrential rain on Thursday led to a six hour delay.
Colm was amongst 78 players who were forced to come back to complete their opening rounds on Friday before filing out again to play round two.
“It’s a long time since I played 30 holes in a day! I had no expectations this week, I just came up to see how I got on,” added Colm who is lodging with Tournament Ambassador, Michael Hoey, this week.
“I am trying to enjoy the week, not do anything different, just approach it as you would a pro-am.”
Besseling, who played in the same group as Colm described himself as ‘exhausted’ but ‘happy’ to be on top of the leaderboard.
“My putting was very good today and that helped me reach this score. I kept it in play and holed a few good putts,” said Wil.
“The course is very good, the greens are firming up now. It’s rolling nicely and it’s not too wet. We place the ball, which makes it a bit easier sometimes but the course is in great condition.
“We had to get up early this morning and finish the first round. Half an hour later we started the second.
“That’s the way it goes and everybody knows that’s the way it is. It’s nice to have played well and be on top of the leaderboard, but the guys who are out there will make some birdies so we’ll see what happens.”

Tournament officials are confident that everything will be back on track by the end of play on Saturday. Those players who don’t manage to complete round two on Friday will wrap things up on Saturday morning before the cut is made and round three gets underway.
One player who won’t be around is 13-year-old Tom McKibbin who followed up an opening round 80 with a highly creditable 76 to miss the cut. The teenager was far from despondent, describing the whole experience as ‘enjoyable’.
The 13-year-old, who received an invite into the tournament courtesy of Niall Horan’s Modest Golf Management company, relished the chance to mix it with the professionals.
“I was two under through seven holes today, made a couple of mistakes, and had a bad finish on the last but apart from that I was happy,” said Tom who ended the tournament on 14 over par.
“I liked the walk up the 18th but didn’t enjoy my golf on the last [he finished with a seven].
“I don’t mind people watching, it feels weird when lots of people clap, but I’m sure I will get used to it.”

Galbraith joins McKibbin in NI Open field courtesy of Modest Golf

July 12, 2016
Niall Horan will be playing in the NI Open Pro-Am

Niall Horan will be playing in the NI Open Pro-Am

When ‘Modest Golf’ announced a tie-up with the NI Open back in May, director Niall Horan (of One Direction fame), highlighted a plan to focus on the ‘next generation of golfers‘.
Well, the company has been true to their words giving a number of talented young players a chance to sample the Challenge Tour experience at Galgorm Castle (July 28-31).
Tom McKibbin, the 13-year-old Holywood golfer who recently won the Ulster U14 Close Championship was an early invite and now two other players have been extended invites – Irish international John Ross Galbraith (Whitehead) and Italian international, Guido Migliozzi.

“We wanted to support golf in Northern Ireland by giving some exciting new talents an opportunity to experience an event at this level,” said Niall.
“JR has had a great amateur career but hadn’t received an invite through the GUI so we were delighted to offer him a chance to play.
“With regards to Tom, there is no expectation on him. We feel it’s an ideal opportunity to blood a young player, and let him get a taste of it.”
An invite had been offered to English amateur Marco Penge, but a clash with his England commitments left him unable to accept a place in the starting line-up.
Niall continued; “I will be playing in the Pro-Am and I’m looking forward to getting to Galgorm and supporting the stars of tomorrow. I’m also delighted to say that a number of other promising young players, Keaton Morrison and Conor Byrne will also be playing in the Pro-Am. It’s a great chance for them and will get them playing out of their comfort zones a bit.”
The Tayto NI Open at Galgorm Castle takes place from July 27-July 31.
For more details and to register for FREE –