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Galgorm's Hilton check-in for golf pre-qualifier

By Adam Smith

Organisers of the Northern Ireland Open Challenge, in association with Maui Jim sunglasses, at Galgorm Castle Golf Club have introduced a new pre-qualifier to take place at Hilton Templepatrick for the chance to compete in the European Challenge Tour event at the end of August.

The 18-hole strokeplay event will take place on Wednesday, August 13 and is open to professionals and amateurs with a scratch handicap or better. The top three players will qualify for the £140,000 NI Open at Galgorm Castle from August 28-31.

It marks another opportunity to tee up alongside Europe's rising stars and household names such as Ryder Cup players Oliver Wilson and Phillip Price. NI Open Tournament Ambassador Michael Hoey will also be competing at Galgorm Castle, where the five-time European Tour winner is the club's Touring Professional.

"Great things are happening with golf in Northern Ireland at the moment and the organisers at Galgorm and this tournament are playing a key role in the overall story," said Hoey at the event's official launch.

Last month Galgorm Castle staged the annual North of Ireland Amateur Strokeplay event where Dundalk's Aaron Grant won and booked his place in the province's key professional golf event. Amateur places at the NI Open will be restricted in accordance with European Tour guidelines. In the event of a tie in the pre-qualifier a sudden death play-off will determine the final places.

Cost of entry is £95 (€120) and forms can be downloaded from galgormcastle.com. closing date is Friday, August 1st at 5pm.

Official practice rounds are available at Hilton Templepatrick on Tuesday, August 12 from 3pm. Tee times and room rates at the four-star hotel and golf resort can be booked via the pro shop on 028 9443 5542.

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