Posts Tagged ‘Niall Horan’

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.

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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 http://www.niopen.golf

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 niopen.golf or galgormcastle.com.
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 – http://www.niopen.golf/