Posts Tagged ‘Ryder Cup’

Ireland hold off USA singles fightback to retain International King’s Trophy

May 25, 2017

Ireland’s Paul Sweeney (Dunmurry Springs GC) with Team USA’s Jacob PSavlk (Bay Pointe GC)
Picture by John McVitty

Ireland retained the International King’s Cup at Lough Erne Resort on Thursday but the eventual margin of victory proved to be much closer than expected.
Leading by 30 points going into today’s (Thursday’s) 16 singles matches Ireland squeezed over the finish line by a mere eight points.
The Ryder Cup style tournament which honours golf’s greatest ambassador, Mr Arnold Palmer, features 16-man teams of club golfers from both Ireland and the USA going head-to-head over the Sir Nick Faldo designed course in Co. Fermanagh.
Under King’s Cup rules, players receive two points for a hole won, one point each for a hole halved and nothing for a lost hole.
Ireland had the better of things on the opening day, finishing a series of fourball and greensomes matches with 303 points to the USA’s 273 points.
With the singles left to play, Ireland needed to break the 576 point marker to retain the title but found the USA side in no mood to roll over.

The USA went on to win nine of the 16 singles ties but Ireland’s overnight buffer and a superb individual effort from Irvinestown’s Martin Peters (Donegal GC), who beat Joseph Costello (Tijares Creek) 27-9, saw Ireland home.
“Even though it’s friendly competition, there is still a lot of pride involved as you are representing your country and playing for your team mates so I was focused on doing well today,” said the 37-year-old Irvinestown based Peters.

“I got ahead around the sixth and from there on I stayed in control. In match play you have to try and keep the pressure on. Keep getting up on the tee first and finding the fairway.”

Team Ireland – winners of the 2017 International King’s Cup

Ireland’s other singles winners were Declan McKeever (Donegal GC), Tom Muldoon (Cloverhill), Colm Feeney (Galway Bay GC), John Collins (Westport GC) and Darren Carey (Dunmurry Springs GC) with Niall Clince (Craddockstown) claiming a half.
International King’s Cup founder, Larry Lunsford was disappointed to lose for the second time but buoyed by a strong fightback today (Thursday).
“All I can say is that I am proud of the team for making such a huge comeback on the last day.
It was remarkable, better than anything I have ever seen,” said Larry.
“You know, when we made the turn the teams were level on the day so to make up 22 points over the closing nine holes was a great effort.”

Thursday May 25
The International King’s Cup
At Lough Erne Resort
Singles results
Paul Sweeney (Dunmurry Springs GC) 12 Jacob Pavlk (Bay Pointe GCC) 24
Darren Carey (Dunmurry Springs GC) 20 David Adams (Castlewoods GC) 15
Declan McKeever (Donegal GC) 21 Dennis Bassham (Auburn GC) 15
Darren McKeever (Donegal GC) 16 Patrick Olsen (Auburn GC) 20
Tom Muldoon (Cloverhill) 22 Mike Farber (Golf Club of Georgia) 14
Kevin Commins (Ardee) 17 Marvin Warner (Atlanta CC) 19
Martin Peters (Donegal GC) 27 Joseph Costello (Tijares Creek CC) 9
Vincent Owens (Omagh GC) 12 Matt McDevitt (Tijares Creek CC) 24
Alan Moran (Tuam GC) 14 Carl Ellis (Pinery CC) 22
Colm Feeney (Galway Bay GC) 20 Andy Titterton (Pinery CC) 16
Niall Clince (Craddockstown GC) 18 Bill Orne (The Legends GC) 18
Kieran O’Brien (Craddockstown GC) 16 Michael White (New Berlin Hills) 20
John Collins (Westport GC) 19 Michael DiFrancesco (Sandridge GC) 17
Liam Friel (Westport GC) 12 Gary Morris (Sandridge GC) 24
James McAllister (Ballybofey & Stranorlar) 15 Andy Kieffer (Hawthorne Woods) 21
Patsy O’Donnell (Ballybofey & Stranorlar) 16 Phil Smith (Schaumburg GC) 20
Overall results
Fourballs: Ireland 148 USA 140
Greensomes: Ireland 155 USA 133
Singles: Ireland 277 USA 299
Total: Ireland 580 USA 572

In a year of sporting shocks Team NI’s win in the Writer Cup tops the lot….

December 30, 2016
writercup2016start

Team NI and Team ROI ready for the start of play at Belvoir Park. In front, Team ROI capt, Cathal Dervan (left) and Team NI capt, Jim Flanagan

Time for some end of 2016 honesty. I’d given up on Team NI ever winning the Writer Cup.
In fact, following the debacle that was my captaincy in 2015,  I’d actually ruled myself out of the team altogether.
I think I claimed I was too busy ‘working’ – the biggest of lies for anyone who actually knows me.
But, as we all now know, 2016 was the year of the unexpected. Leicester City, the Chicago Cubs and Connacht all upset the odds and to the list of events that surely signals the end of the world, Team NI won the Writer Cup in 2016.
The seventh edition of the Writer Cup – the Ryder Cup style event pitching Northern Ireland journalists against Republic of Ireland journalists – was played at Belvoir Park GC and Cairndhu GC.
I was drafted in late on, reluctantly I might add, to bolster Team NI’s chances of folding once again and making it six defeats on the bounce.
Tourism NI, who host the event, had clearly decided there was some marketing value in ritual humiliation for the ‘home’ side and had once again assembled a crack team of hackers.
writercup2016pkAs you might expect, Team NI’s expectations were suitably low as the players assembled at Belvoir Park but a 2-2 draw in the fourballs at least kept the match alive going into the final day singles.
After an overnight stay in the luxurious Ballygally Castle Hotel the teams moved on to Cairndhu Golf Club where a minor miracle gradually unfolded.
Instead of the traditional Northern Ireland collapse, the ‘home’ team hung tough emerging with 5.5 points from the eight on offer to secure an emphatic 7.5 – 4.5 overall victory.
The celebrations that followed were best described as ‘muted’.

Team NI: Jim Flanagan, Billy Foley, Gareth McCullough, Maurice Jay, Paul Kelly, Richard Sullivan, Richard Mulligan, Michael Rafferty
Team ROI: Cathal Dervan, Brian Flanagan, Eoin Murphy, Peter Finnan, Karl Doyle, Ed Leahy, Dermot Bolger, Greg Allen

A victorious Team NI

A victorious Team NI

Belvoir Park GC
Belvoir Park Golf Club was established in South Belfast during 1927 and is set in some 136 acres of delightful parkland and was designed by the famed course architect Harry S Colt.
It is regarded as one of the pre-eminent parkland courses in Ireland and hosted the Irish Open in 1949 and 1953.
The course also hosted the Irish PGA Championship in 1995 and most recently the Irish Amateur Close Championship in 2008. It was a privilege to have been invited to host the Senior Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship in 2011 and World Police and Fire Games in 2013.
Belfast can boast a number of top class courses –  the 
Belfast Parkland Challenge July 3  – 5  2017  will give amateur players the chance to compete at Malone Golf Club, Belvoir Park Golf Club and Shandon Park GC.
For information – http://www.belfastparklandinternational.com/

Cairndhu GC
Designed by J.F.S. Morrison, a partner in the firm of Colt, Allison and Morrison, the current Cairndhu GC site is situated in 200 acres of mature woodlands and rolling hills.
Cairndhu is a hilly seaside course, laid out on cliffs which offer absolutely sensational views of the Antrim coastline with unsurpassed views of the Scottish coast and islands, and headlands leading to the renowned Glens of Antrim.
The signature hole is the 160-yard par three second called “Head” which is the closest point on the course to the headland. The tee sits a hundred yards above the Antrim coast road which hugs the shoreline below. The tee shot – which can be a short iron or a three wood, depending on wind direction – is played to a long, narrow green that slopes to the left and is bunkered to the front right.

Ballygally Castle Hotel
Perched on the tip of the famous Causeway Coastal Route, sits Ballygally Castle Hotel Co. Antrim.
A stunning 17th-century castle which overlooks the golden sands of Ballygally Bay and has uninterrupted views towards Scotland.
A stay here is a journey in more ways than one. It’s the perfect base for exploring the stunning Antrim Coast, just a stone’s throw from the 9 Glens of Antrim and then on to the Giant’s Causeway.
Relax and explore your more creative side, read a novel, write a novel or paint in our beautiful gardens. Golf. Fish. Or join in the many activities provided by the hotel and places nearby.
The hotel is reputedly haunted by a friendly ghost and brave guests can visit the ‘ghost room’ in one of the towers to see for themselves.

 

Captain Clarke admits his game isn’t up to tackling US Open challenge at Oakmont

June 10, 2016
Darren's focus has been on retaining the cup, not on his own game

Darren’s focus has been on retaining the cup, not on his own game

European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke has withdrawn from next week’s US Open at Oakmont.
Clarke’s decision to opt out means that Shane Lowry, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy are the only home representatives left in the event which gets under way on June 13th.
The Dungannon golfer, who has not recorded a top-10 finish on the European Tour since winning the Open Championship in 2011, said in a statement: “I’m currently dedicating all of my time to our preparations for the Ryder Cup and unfortunately the US Open is not the place to be when your game isn’t 100 per cent.

“I’m very sorry to miss Oakmont but I’m sure it will be a brilliant week. I’ll certainly be watching very closely.”

However poor his form over the last 18 months it must have been a difficult decision for Darren to give up his spot based on the knowledge that his game simply wasn’t up to the task of tackling Oakmont.
Mind you it could well be a case of discretion being the better part of valour considering some of the comments by players this week. Phil Mickelson played a practice round at Oakmont on Monday and Tuesday, describing it as the ‘hardest golf course we’ve ever played.’
Clarke has missed the cut in the US Open for the last three years but the 47-year-old briefly showed some signs of life at the Irish Open where he made the cut, eventually finishing tied for 43rd.
Unfortunately, he then travelled to the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and carded two rounds of 79/77 to miss the cut by a wide margin.
While it could be argued that Darren’s form has been on the wane for some time and certainly since his dramatic Open success, it’s clear that the European Ryder Cup captaincy and playing competitively do not go hand-in-hand.
When Paul McGinley was in charge he made just three cuts on the European Tour between November 2013 and August 2014. Granted the Dubliner was hampered by injury during that period but it’s worth noting that in his first event back after the Ryder Cup – the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship – he comfortably made the cut and finished tied for 43rd.
Meanwhile, over in the US, Clarke’s rival, Davis Love III, has appeared surprisingly unaffected by captaincy issues. The 52-year-old made a string of cuts during February, March and April including finishing tied for 42nd at The Masters.
At this stage the captaincy affliction appears to be purely a European phenomenon.

McDowell ready to make Ryder Cup push

May 19, 2016

With just over four months until the start of the Ryder Cup a number of Europe’s leading lights – including Graeme McDowell – are in a race to be part of Darren Clarke’s side in Hazeltine.
“There’s lots and lots of jockeying for position to come up here in the next few months and I feel like I’m well positioned mentally and physically to do that,” said Graeme ahead of the opening round of the DDF Irish Open at the K Club.
“Of course I’d love to be part of the team. We had a little get together last week at The Players [Championship]. Darren did sort of a veteran’s dinner on the Tuesday night, and I think he did the rookie’s dinner on Thursday night.
“Obviously I was at the veteran’s one on Tuesday night. And it was inspiring to visualise yourself at Hazeltine and being part of the team and what it’s going to feel like in the team room.
“I feel like it was that nice little bit of motivation that I needed, and like I say, it goes without saying that I want to be on the team.”
McDowell is the only European player to have qualified automatically for the last four contests, but the world number 68 believes it will be tougher than ever to extend that impressive record.
“With so many great young players coming through, looking at Andy Sullivan, Matt Fitzpatrick, Shane Lowry and Danny Willett, a few of us have got to get our act together,” said the 36-year-old, who is currently 14th in the standings.
“The veterans, as such, are not really performing the way they need to be, myself included. It’s one of those things that will take care of itself if I can do what I want to do the next few months, but it’s going to be a really highly-contested team and picks are going to be hard to come by.
“I certainly don’t want to wait for a pick this year. It’s going to be a hot team to get on to, but I feel like we’re into the meat and bones now the next few months with three majors, double points at the French Open, next week at the BMW PGA Championship of course. I’m desperate to be on the team, but I know I have to stay patient and just let it take care of itself.”

PGA Captain – Gary Chambers – voices concerns about discounted green fee schemes

May 3, 2016
2016 PGA in Ireland Captain, Gary Chambers

2016 PGA in Ireland Captain, Gary Chambers

PGA in Ireland 2016 captain, Gary Chambers, has urged clubs to end the practice of buying into third party discounted green fee schemes.
“It is detrimental to every club in the country. It not only devalues the club, it also devalues the membership,” said the 48-year-old Killymoon GC professional.

“As professionals we often hear frustrated members who pay large fees upfront but then see heavily discounted green fees available. I really think the sooner we can get out of these schemes and put a proper value on ourselves the better.”

Born and raised in Moygashel, near Dungannon, Chambers is optimistic about the future and confident that professionals and clubs will adapt to changes in the industry.
“I think the same number of people are playing that have always played the game but the format has changed. A lot of players have given up membership and joined societies,” added Gary.
“The golf landscape is certainly in a better state than it was four or five years ago and I do believe it is improving.
“For example, just look at changes in the shop business. With custom fitting there is not the same need to stock lots of hardware. People don’t buy hardware off the rack any more, everyone wants to get fitted. I think it is a very good thing. The equipment suits the customer better and professionals do not have to outlay thousands of pounds for stock.
“I’m hopeful that we are approaching a new era that will see the golf business healthy and flourishing.
Chambers played his amateur golf at Dungannon GC and became a PGA assistant in 1990 under Barry Hamill at Killymoon GC. In 1992 he moved to Dundalk GC and finished his training with the late Jimmy Cassidy. In July 1995 he was appointed as professional at Killymoon, a post he has held for over 20 years.
“For seven or eight years I played regularly on the tournament scene and really enjoyed it. I was not a prolific winner, but I did win the Fota Island Pro-Am, shooting a 67 and I also won the Elm Park Pro-Am,” he said.
“I was over the moon to be appointed 2016 Captain. I never thought it would come my way and I’m honoured and humbled at the same time.
“I intend to get out and about this year and I’m looking forward to meeting up with professionals all over Ireland. I have committed to playing in 36 events. It would be a few more but I am taking the chance to attend the Ryder Cup in Hazeltine.
“It is noticeable that in the 20 years or so that I have been playing in Pro-Ams that the prize funds haven’t really gone up. However, it is great to see some signs of improvement this year with events at The Heritage and Delgany offering increased prize money.
“It is also very welcome to see a number of new venues coming on-board. Hopefully that is a sign that the economy is getting healthier and we will see increased prize funds.”

Irish Open Schools Trophy tour is back for 2016

March 8, 2016
The children of Straffan National School joined (l-r) Brian McIlroy of the Rory Foundation, Antonia Beggs from The European Tour, Dubai Duty Free Golf Ambassador Des Smyth and Tom Walsh of Waterford Crystal to launch the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour 2016.

The children of Straffan National School joined (l-r) Brian McIlroy of the Rory Foundation, Antonia Beggs from The European Tour, Dubai Duty Free Golf Ambassador Des Smyth and Tom Walsh of Waterford Crystal to launch the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour 2016.

FOLLOWING the huge success of last year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour, pupils across Northern Ireland are once again being invited to create history for their school as part of a nationwide competition organised by The European Tour and the Rory Foundation.
Supported by the Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI), the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour competition will give four lucky pupils across Ireland a chance to host a visit from the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy which is currently in the possession of defending champion Søren Kjeldsen.
To enter the competition, children between the ages of 9-15 are being invited to tell The European Tour why their class or school deserves a visit from the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy.
Not only will the winning pupils have a chance to get their hands on the prestigious trophy, they will also receive a host of other unique ‘money can’t buy’ prizes for themselves and their schoolmates.
These include a Q&A session with representatives of The European Tour and Rory Foundation and an insight into the life of a professional golfer from Ireland’s Dubai Duty Free golf ambassador Des Smyth, an eight-time winner on the European Tour who played in two Ryder Cups in 1979 and 1981 and was a vice-captain of Europe’s victorious 2006 and 2014 Ryder Cup teams.
Each winning pupil’s class will also receive tickets to go to the Pro-Am event on Wednesday May 18 while the overall winning pupil will receive family tickets for the Pro-Am and a VIP tour with a chance to meet some of the world’s top golfers.
And if that isn’t enough, the four winning schools will also enjoy a fun introduction to golf through the CGI’s ‘Golf Awareness Clinic’ which will give children a fun introduction to the sport through a variety of golf-related games including putting games and hitting real golf balls into a blow up net, and virtual golf on the Wii console.

To enter, schoolchildren aged 9-15 should simply send an email to trophytour@irishopen.ie outlining in no more than 250 words why their class or school deserves to win this unique prize – clearly stating their name, age, address and school. Closing date for entries is April 17 with the prize to be taken between April 25 and May 13.

“Last year we were overwhelmed with the quantity and quality of entries we received for our Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour competition,” said Antonia Beggs of The European Tour.

“We received hundreds of letters from kids throughout the island of Ireland telling us why they deserve to win the prize and we are delighted to be in a position to run the competition again this year.

“It is such a wonderful way for schools to get involved with such a big sporting event that attracts so many high-profile professional golfers and worldwide interest.”
Brian McIlroy of the Rory Foundation said: “The Trophy Tour was a huge part of the 2015 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open for us and something that Rory McIlroy himself was really delighted to get behind.
“Rory is extremely proud of where he comes from and it’s important for him to be as good an ambassador as he can for Ireland, north and south. In addition, his commitment to helping children all over the world through the Rory Foundation is a real passion and one he feels very strongly about.
“We immensely enjoyed our visits to last year’s winning schools and we are all thrilled once again to be able to engage with schoolchildren throughout Ireland to stimulate pride in their class, school, where they’re from, and their own achievements.”
For more information on the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation or to purchase tickets visit http://Dubai Duty Free Irish Open
The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open 2016 is also supported by the Irish Government under the auspices of the Fáilte Ireland and Sport Ireland.

Grab your chance to face off against the US at Lough Erne Resort

February 19, 2016
The 10th at Lough Erne

The 10th at Lough Erne

Ever dreamed of playing your part in a famous Ryder Cup victory over the United States?
Well now you can win a place on a 16-man Irish team to tackle the US this April at Lough Erne Resort.
The inaugural King’s Cup will take place at the spectacular Co Fermanagh venue from April 27th to 29th. Hosted by sports broadcaster Jim Kelly and captured by producer Jim Lepera, the event is set to be a brilliant showcase of golf in Fermanagh and Northern Ireland.
The three-day, 54-hole match play tournament structured similar to the Ryder Cup has been created by the United States Golf Challenge, the largest and best two man best-ball competition in the US.
The United States Team at the inaugural King’s Cup will be made up of the top team in each flight at the 2015 US Golf Challenge National Championships.
For your opportunity to be part of this exciting inaugural competition, there are two Irish qualifiers – the first at Lough Erne Resort on Saturday 5th March, and the second at Hilton Templepatrick on Saturday 12th March, entrants must be 18 years and over.
Lynn McCool, Director of Golf & Head Professional at Lough Erne Resort will captain the 2016 Irish team and has opened up eight spots to qualifiers.
With an entry fee of £40pp, the qualifiers will be determined using the single Stableford system, and there are qualifying spots at each of the two venues for the following handicaps categories : 2 spots x handicap 0 to 4.9, 1 spot x handicap 5 to 11.9, 1 x handicap 12 to 18,
To qualify for the Irish team all competitors must hold an official handicap and be available to play the matchplay event at Lough Erne Resort on April 27th to April 29th as well as being available to attend the Welcome Party on Tuesday 26th April and Prize Presentation Dinner on Friday 29th April.
With a practice round taking place on April 26th, team members will be dressed in Glenmuir clothing all the days, the first annual King’s Cup between the US and Ireland is an opportunity to represent Ireland while playing on one of the finest golf resorts in the country.

To book your spot contact:
Saturday March 5
Lough Erne Resort 
Tel: 028 66 345766 or ROI 048 66 345766

Saturday March 12
Hilton Templepatrick
Tel: 02894 435542

 

Rory rallies clubs to support the Irish Open

January 28, 2016

history
Rory McIlroy is urging golf clubs across Ireland to embrace this year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation and help make it one of ‘the best ever’.
“The Irish Open has always been very close to my heart but I would love this year’s event to be even more special as it will once again be hosted by the Rory Foundation,” said Rory.
Rory is fiercely proud of where he comes from and has been a great ambassador for Irish golf. Now he’s determined to maintain the Irish Open’s position as one of the premier events on the European Tour.
Rory added; “We are truly blessed with loads of great, accessible courses which I have no doubt has played a big part in Ireland punching well above its weight with the exceptional golfing talent we have produced, north and south, over the years.”
The Holywood golfer has produced a ‘five point plan’ to help clubs and their members to get involved in the tournament which takes place at The K Club in Co. Kildare from May 19-22.

“We can achieve this if we all pull together, which is why I’m asking clubs to embrace this year’s event, get involved and help make it one of the best ever. I’m really looking forward to working with our golf clubs to promote what I believe is one of the best tournaments on the professional circuit – in one of the best golfing destinations in the world.”

A portion of all tickets sales this year will go towards the Foundation which was established by McIlroy in 2013 to help children live better lives by raising funds and offering support to children’s charities around the world.
This year will also be the first time that The K Club will host Ireland’s national Open, fittingly on the 10th anniversary of the course hosting Europe’s memorable victory over the USA in the 2006 Ryder Cup.

Rory’s Five-point Plan.

1) Play in the Pro-Am competition – The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Club Challenge
Title sponsor Dubai Duty Free is offering one lucky team from an Irish golf club the unique opportunity to play in this year’s Pro-Am. So Rory, in conjunction with the Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI) and Irish Ladies Golf Union (ILGU), is asking all clubs in Ireland, north and south, to use existing competitions to find a Men’s and Ladies’ champion (Junior members also eligible to compete) to represent their club in regional qualifiers in late April with a national final to be held on the Smurfit Course at The K Club in early May. The overall winning team, which will also include an official nominated by the winning club, will receive a team invitation to compete alongside a top professional in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Pro-Am. Full details on how to enter will be available at www.golfnet.ie.

2) The Irish Open Skills Challenge 
To encourage young golfers to be the best that they can be, Rory has teamed up with Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI) and The European Tour to encourage golf clubs to take part in this competition which is designed to help children under the age of 15 to develop their Putting, Chipping, Iron Play and Driving skills in a team environment.
Rory is asking every club in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to enter an U15 Boys’ team and an U15 Girls’ team in the provincial qualifiers, with four players per team – each specialising in one of the four particular skills. The four individual skill scores are combined to make up a final team score and the winning team from the national final will win a unique ‘meet and greet’ opportunity with a top player at this year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Pro-Am. Full details on how to enter will be available at www.golfnet.ie.

3) Get Into Golf With Rory
One of Rory’s key aims this year is to encourage children who have never picked up a club to take an interest in golf. So he has joined forces with the CGI to develop an exciting new schools programme called Get Into Golf With Rory.
Throughout the country, more than 30 clubs have been selected to run a five-week primary school coaching programme with follow-on activities and membership packages. Schools have yet to be selected but the overall aim of the programme is to offer thousands of primary school pupils the opportunity to get their first taste of golf and create a pathway to continue golf in their local golf club. Full details on the Get Into Golf With Rory programme will be available at www.golfnet.ie.

4) Group deals for Clubs
From his early days at Holywood Golf Club, Rory has always loved the camaraderie and community spirit of golf clubs so this year he is encouraging clubs to enjoy the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open experience as a club. To help with this, the European Tour and Rory have created a number of special ticket and coach offers that are exclusive to golf clubs. So hop on board – and why not bring the family too for a great day out! What’s more, Rory will give the top four clubs who bring the most members as a group a personally signed Pin Flag to proudly display in their clubhouse! Details on how clubs can travel as a group to this year’s Irish Open will be available at www.dubaidutyfreeirishopen.com.

5) Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Club Ambassadors
It takes someone very special to bring these ideas together for the club so Rory is asking every golf club in Ireland to nominate one individual as its Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Ambassador who will be the main point of contact for all of these proposed club initiatives – and all things relating to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. Clubs wanting to nominate their Ambassador should email kate@cgigolf.org.

Captain Clarke makes positive impression in EurAsia Cup victory

January 19, 2016
Europe celebrate EurAsia Cup success

Europe celebrate EurAsia Cup success

He’s bound to face more testing times at the Ryder Cup but Darren Clarke’s EurAsia Cup experience appeared to go off without a hitch.
Europe, with Clarke at the helm, produced a dominant performance and everyone associated with the team left Kuala Lumpur with their reputations intact if not exactly enhanced.
And while it’s easy to dismiss the Asian team as ‘weak’ you can, as the sports pundits put it – ‘only beat what’s put in front of you’.
Darren’s leadership style, certainly to the outside, appeared to be relatively relaxed. He seemed to put a lot of emphasis on creating the right atmosphere within the group, but he was also determined to win and put victory ahead of simply planning for Hazeltine.
“I couldn’t ask more from my team than they have given me. I’ve asked them to enjoy themselves,” he said.

“I hope they played well; they have played well. Match-play golf can be a very tricky format. The team so far have played really, really well. They have bonded well as a team. I don’t think I would change anything at all with what they have done.”

The EurAsia Cup format – with everyone playing all three days – also worked in Darren’s favour. It gave him the chance to focus on what makes a good pairing rather than worry about who to leave out.
Unfortunately, he’s not going to have that luxury come September and he’ll only really know if he’s created the right atmosphere in the Ryder Cup team when he’s forced to leave someone out.
That’s for the future, in this case, and given that Europe performed so well, everyone was fulsome in their praise for Clarke’s efforts.

Andy Sullivan; “It’s been an absolutely fantastic week. The whole team has been unbelievable in the team room. Clarkey has been immense, not left a stone unturned. The way we have gone out and done things, it shows how much we want to be in that Ryder Cup team and how much we want to lift that EurAsia Cup.”

Shane Lowry; “Definitely one of the best weeks of my career so far. I really enjoyed every minute of it. Lads have been great. Darren has been great. The team room has been just the best craic ever. Just one of these weeks where you’ll always remember it.”

Soren Kjeldsen; It’s just been so nice to be part of a team, and to have Darren and Poulter and Westwood every night standing up, explaining what’s the challenges of tomorrow, and the fire in their eyes. We have all seen it on TV for The Ryder Cup and that, but you could really sense this week that it was massive for them, as well, and I think that lifted all of us.”

Clarke recognises that there are more challenging times to come but the EurAsia Cup display has given him a very strong platform as he approaches the rest of the Ryder Cup qualification period, the inevitable wild card debate and the event itself.
He knows there are some areas that need further consideration and is planning a debrief with his team in the coming weeks.
“I think there’s a lot of things that I’ve learnt this week. Time being one of them, I don’t have an awful lot of it,” added Darren.
“There have been a lot of positives this week. Obviously looking towards some Ryder Cup things that’s going to come together. I’ve learnt a few things, and hopefully I’ll do a better job come September. But if the players don’t play and don’t perform, you can be the best captain in the world and you’re not going to win.
“I’ve enjoyed it immensely. It’s been a wonderful learning experience for me. I’ve been around the game a long time and done most things in the game and been fortunate to do so.
“This is different. I really enjoyed it. The guys seemed to listen to what I had to say, and if my little part of it has helped them along, then so be it.”

Clarke and Singh predicting close battle for EurAsia Cup glory

January 12, 2016
Captains Darren Clarke (left) and Jeev Milkha Singh during a press conference for the EurAsia Cup

Captains Darren Clarke (left) and Jeev Milkha Singh during a press conference for the EurAsia Cup

Captains Darren Clarke and Jeev Milkha Singh are predicting another close contest when the cream of Europe goes up against the might of Asia in the second edition of the EURASIA CUP presented by DRB-HICOM.
The inaugural tournament in 2014 ended 10-10 after a thrilling final day fightback by the Asian team and, given how closely the sides are again matched this week, neither man would be surprised if it were to end in another draw at Glenmarie Golf & Country Club, in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.
Clarke, who can call on the might of Ryder Cup veterans Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood in his 12-strong team, believes that whilst Europe may boast a marginally stronger line-up on paper, home advantage could prove pivotal for Singh’s side.
He said: “We are playing in the Asian team’s backyard, so they are a bit more used to the heat and humidity than we are, which may give them a bit of an advantage.

“When the humidity comes with this sort of heat, it is quite oppressive. And it probably feels even hotter than the last time we were here. But with the co-sanctioned events we have in Asia, the Europeans do have experience playing here.

“So it’s too close to call, and I think there’s a pretty good chance it could end in another draw. You have two very strong teams, and because it’s match play anything could happen.
“Hopefully it will be every bit as exciting as last time. Although I don’t know how our nerves will be at the end of the week!”
Clarke insists that he is not using this week’s event simply as a warm-up for the Ryder Cup.
He added; “Obviously there’s no Ryder Cup stuff going on in the back of my mind with possible pairings, but first and foremost, it’s this week. We as Europe, we’re here to try and win, as Jeev is, with his Asian team. The thoughts and everything I’m trying to do is going towards this week.

“When we’re finished this week, then obviously, if we come back with a few pairings and what happened during the week, hopefully if I’ve learned something from this week come September, then so be it. First and foremost, it’s definitely this week and the EurAsia Cup.”

Singh revealed it was an honour to be asked to follow Thongchai Jaidee as captain of the Asian team.
Much like his predecessor, the genial Indian has vowed to adopt a relaxed approach to the role and will allow his charges to express themselves.
“I believe in our players,” Singh said.
“I know that all of them have the experience. They are used to the weather. They have played in Asia many times, and they play these kind of courses all the time.
“So I just basically have to make sure they are comfortable, happy, and relaxed. When all of these things are given to him, that’s when a player plays his best. And I don’t even have to tell them to try their best, because I know they are all going to give 100 per cent.”
The action gets underway on Friday with six fourball matches, followed by the foursomes on Saturday and concluding with Sunday’s 12 singles matches.

Courtesy of European Tour Comms