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Ulster trio named in Ireland squad for Spain and South Africa trips

Tiarnon McLarnon (Massereene) has been named in the Ireland squad for upcoming events in Spain and South Africa
Tiarnon McLarnon (Massereene) has been named in the Ireland squad for upcoming events in Spain and South Africa
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Ulster trio Matthew McClean, Tom McKibbin and Tiarnan McLarnon have been named in Ireland squads for upcoming events in Spain and South Africa.

McClean (Malone) will travel on both trips, starting with the Octagonal Trophy at Costa Ballena Ocean GC in Spain from January 21-24.

He'll then be joined in South Africa by McKibbin (Holywood) and McLarnon (Massereene) for the African Amateur Championship at Leopard Creek from February 3-6.

The Ulster trio will stay in South Africa for the following week to compete in the South African Stroke Play Championship at Randpark from February 10-13.

This could be a big year for McKibbin, who won the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley and the Peter McEvoy Trophy in 2019, as well as coming sixth at the Lytham Trophy in England.

The 16-year-old phenom ended 2019 with an eighth-placed finish in the South Beach International in the USA and will be hoping to kick on from the last 12 months.

Returning Ireland international McLarnon, who is the highest ranked of the Ulster trio at 227th in the amateur world rankings, also had a strong year in 2019 with victory at the Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup.

The Massereene man also picked up some big results, with his fifth in the South of Ireland and sixth in the St Andrew's Links Trophy both impressive finishes.

McClean is another returning international and is coming off a strong 2019 that saw him finish second at the Mullingar Scratch Cup and third at the Ulster Stroke Play Championship.

Joining them in the squads are Amateur Champion James Sugrue (Mallow), who will only take part in the South African tournaments, Bridgestone Order of Merit winner Robert Brazill (Naas) and West of Ireland champion Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk).

Ireland squads

Octagonal Trophy: Robert Brazill (Naas), Keith Egan (Carton House), Eanna Griffin (Waterford), Rowan Lester (Hermitage), Matthew McClean (Malone), Peter O'Keeffe (Douglas)

South Africa: Brazill, Egan, Lester, McClean, Tom McKibbin (Holywood), Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene), Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk), James Sugrue (Mallow)

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