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Irish Open 2015: New kids on the block take on Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler

By Peter Hutcheon

Published 26/05/2015

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 07: Amateur Bradley Neil of Scotland watches a shot during a practice round prior to the start of the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2015 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 07: Amateur Bradley Neil of Scotland watches a shot during a practice round prior to the start of the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2015 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: Gavin Moynihan of Ireland and the Great Britain and Ireland team on the 7th tee during the final day afternoon singles matches of the 2013 Walker Cup Match at The National Golf Links of America on September 8, 2013 in Southampton, New York. (Photo by David Cannon/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)
LODDEKOPINGE, SWEDEN - AUGUST 29: Gary Hurley of GB&I in action against Albert Eckhardt of Europe during the first day of the St Andrews Trophy at Barseback Golf & Country Club on August 29, 2014 in Loddekopinge, Sweden. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 19: Jack Hume of Naas Golf Club during The Amateur Championship 2014 Day Four at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 19, 2014 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Tony Marshall/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Belfast Telegraph asses four gifted youngsters coming to the Irish Open... this won't be the last time you hear of them.

Bradley Neil

Reigning British Amateur Champion Bradley Neil comes to Royal County Down with fond memories of Ulster, having won that coveted title last year at Royal Portrush.

He had recorded seven top ten finishes in 2014 before landing the big one on the County Antrim coast, becoming the first Scot to lift the title in ten years with a win over South African Zander Lombard in the final.

That win qualified him for last year’s Open Championship at Royal Lytham.

He was part of  Scotland’s successful European Nations Cup side last year and he was also a member of the victorious Great Britain and Ireland St Andrews Trophy team.

He played in the Junior Ryder Cup team at his home course of  Blairgowrie and, as Amateur champion, took his place in the field at this year’s Masters where he missed the cut at 13 over par.

 

Gary Hurley

Gary Hurley of the West Waterford club has built up a solid reputation as one of the most consistent performers on the international amateur scene.

Two years ago he clinched the R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament title and with it, a place on the European team for the Palmer Cup.

He has earned a place on that team for this year and was one of five Irish players named in the provisional Walker Cup Great Britain and Ireland panel in January.

Although he did not manage a victory last season, he was one of the circuit’s most consistent performers. He tied for fifth in the Free State Open, fourth in the Lytham Trophy, reached the semi-finals of the West Of Ireland, came third in the East Of Ireland, fifth in the Brabazon Trophy, second in the European Amateur Championship and was also runner-up in the Irish Colleges Invitational Tournament.

CORK, IRELAND - JUNE 22: Mikko Ilonen of Finland celebrates with the winners trophy after the final round of the Irish Open at the Fota Island Resort on June 22, 2014 in Cork, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
CORK, IRELAND - JUNE 22: Mikko Ilonen of Finland celebrates with the winners trophy after the final round of the Irish Open at the Fota Island Resort on June 22, 2014 in Cork, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
MAYNOOTH, IRELAND - JUNE 30: Paul Casey of England celebrates his eagle putt on the 18th green during the final round of the Irish Open at Carton House Golf Club on June 30, 2013 in Maynooth, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 01: Jamie Donaldson of Wales hugs his caddie Craig Connelly of Scotland after he had holed a birdie putt at the 18th hole to secure his first European Tour win during the final round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 1, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
KILLARNEY, IRELAND - JULY 31: Simon Dyson of England kisses the trophy after winning the Discover Ireland Irish Open held at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club on July 31, 2011 in Killarney, Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
KILLARNEY, IRELAND - AUGUST 01: Ross Fisher of England poses with the trophy and his wife Jo and daughter Eve after victory during the final round of the 3 Irish Open at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club on August 1, 2010 in Killarney, Ireland. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
BALTRAY, IRELAND - MAY 17: Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates after winning on the third play-off hole during the final round of The 3 Irish Open at County Louth Golf Club on May 17, 2009 in Baltray, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LIMERICK, IRELAND - MAY 18: Richard Finch of England celebrates the final round of the Irish Open at Adare Manor on May 18, 2008 in Limerick, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LIMERICK, IRELAND - MAY 20: Padraig Harrington of Ireland with son Patrick and wife Caroline on the 18th green after the final round of the Irish Open on May 20, 2007 at the Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort in Limerick, Ireland (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
KILDARE, IRELAND - MAY 22: Thomas Bjorn of Denmark celebrates on the 18th green after winning the Nissan Irish Open on The Montgomerie Course at Carton House Golf Club on May 22, 2006 in Kildare, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
MAYNOOTH, IRELAND - MAY 22: Stephen Dodd of Wales tees off on the 16th hole during the final round of the Nissan Irish Open on The Montgomerie Course at Carton House Golf Club on May 22, 2005 in Maynooth, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
BALTRAY, IRELAND - JULY 25: Brett Rumford of Australia celebrates on the 18th green after winning the Nissan Irish Open at County Louth Golf Club on July 25, 2004 in Baltray, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - JULY 27: Michael Campbell of New Zealand celebrates his play-off victory over Thomas Bjorn and Peter Hedblom at the Nissan Irish Open on July 27, 2003 at Portmarnock Golf Club in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
CORK, IRELAND - JUNE 30: Soren Hansen of Denmark and Padraic Liston of Murphys enjoy a couple of pints after the final round of the Murphy's Irish Open played at Fota Island Golf Club, Cork, on June 30, 2002. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
1 Jul 2001: Colin Montgomerie of Scotland on the 1st hole during his final round at the Murphys Irish Open at Fota Island Golf Club, Cork, Ireland. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Munday/ALLSPORT
1 Jul 2000: Patrik Sjoland of Sweden hits a birdie during the Final Round of the Murphy's Irish Open at Ballybunion Golf Club, Ireland. Mandatory Credit: Michael Cooper /Allsport
4 Jul 1999: Sergio Garcia of Spain celebrates on the 12th hole after holing a birdie during the 1999 Murphy's Irish Open played in Dublin, Ireland. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Redington /Allsport
5 Jul 1998: David Carter of England celebrates after the play-off during the Murphy's Irish Open at Druids Glen Golf Club in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Carter won the event. \ Mandatory Credit: Andrew Redington/Allsport
DUBLIN - JULY 5: Colin Montgomerie Scotland in action during the 1997 Murphy's Irish Open held on July 5, 1997 at the Druids Glen GC in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
WICKLOW,IRELAND- JULY 3: Colin Montgomerie of Scotland walks on water as he approaches the 17th green during the Pro-Am in the Murph's Irish Open at the Druid's Glen Golf Clun on July 3, 1996 in North County Wicklow, Ireland. ( Photo by: David Cannon/Getty Images)
30 JUN 1995: Sam Torrance shows his pleasure after playing his second shot to the 18th close to the hole on his first day of the Irish Open at Mount Juliet. Mandatory Credit: Steve Munday/ALLSPORT
3 JUL 1994: BERNHARD LANGER OF GERMANY WITH A SHOT DURING THE 1994 IRISH OPEN GOLF TOURNAMENT, WHICH LANGER WON, AT THE MOUNT JULIET GOLF COURSE IN KILKENNY, IRELAND. Mandatory Credit: Steve Munday/ALLSPORT
KILKENNY, IRELAND - JULY 04: Nick Faldo of England with the trophy after his win in the 1993 Carrols Irish Open at Mount Juliet on July 4, 1993 in Kilkenny, Ireland. Faldo also came out ion top in the '91 & '92 Irish Open tournament. (Photo by Stephen Munday/Getty Images)
Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain triumphed at the Portmuck Irish Open in 1990. (Photo by Phil Sheldon/Popperfoto/Getty Images)
British golfer Ian Woosnam won the Irish Open in 1989. (Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images)
British golfer Ian Woosnam won the Irish Open in 1988. (Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - JUNE 1987: Bernhard Langer of Germany plays in the 1987 US Open golf tournament from June 18-21, 1987 held at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, California. (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)
Spanish golfer Seve Ballesteros competing in the Irish Open at the Royal Dublin Golf Club, Dublin, Ireland, 1986. Ballesteros won the tournament. (Photo by Simon Bruty/Getty Images)
Spanish golfer Seve Ballesteros receiving the trophy after winning the Irish Open at the Royal Dublin Golf Club, Dublin, Ireland, 1985. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

He played in last year’s Irish Open at Fota Island and made the cut on his European Tour debut with a superb second round 66.

This year he has managed a fifth placed finish at the South Africa Stroke Play Championship and was runner-up at the R&A Foundation Scholars event.

 

Gavin Moynihan

Gavin Moynihan from The Island club in County Dublin first came to international prominence in 2012 as a 17-year-old when he captured the Peter McEvoy Trophy and the Irish Amateur Open Championship within a month of each other.

He came close to defending the amateur title the following year when he only lost out in a three-man play-off.

Those performances led to a Walker Cup debut at the National Golf Club for Great Britain and Ireland when he was undefeated after playing in all four series of matches with two victories and two halves.

He is well on course for a place on this year’s team and was announced as a member of the 20-man provisional squad in January.

Last year he added the Carrick Neil Scottish Amateur Open title to his haul and was a member of the European team which won the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy in India against an international side.

So far in 2015 he has had top ten finishes in South Africa when he lost a play-off in the Eastern Province/Border Championship and then tied fifth in the South African Stroke Play Championship.

 

Jack Hume

Jack Hume of the Naas club in County Kildare is one of only two players to have won all four of the provincial Irish Boys Championships in a single year – which he achieved in 2010 at the age of 16.

His runner-up finish at the 2013 Lytham Trophy earned him his first international call-up and he has become a regular on the Irish team since.

Last year he added two individual championships, the West of Ireland and the Nassau Invitation in New York.

He also finished runner-up to Gavin Moynihan in the Scottish Amateur Stroke Play Championship and was third in the Miami Invitational.

Like Moynihan, he was included in the provisional 20-man for this year’s Walker Cup matches to be played at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

 

 

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