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Coveted NI Open spots on offer for top-class Galgorm line-up

 

By Robert Jones

This year's Northern Ireland Amateur Open will take place at Galgorm Castle Golf Club on Tuesday, July 18 with the winner, plus the leading Under-18 player, qualifying for the NI Open.

The event is presented by Modest! Golf, as the golf management company extend their support of the NI Open to embrace the Northern Ireland Amateur Open.

The Northern Ireland Amateur Open, sponsored by Specsavers Ballymena, has become one of the province's stand-out 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.

Galgorm Castle's Ross Oliver explained: "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.

"Walker Cup player Cormac Sharvin won in 2012 and 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 champions such as Sharvin and McElroy will return to Galgorm once again 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 teenage sensation Tom McKibbin to play in the 2016 NI Open.

Niall Horan, Director of Modest! Golf and One Direction star, 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."

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."

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