Monday, September 14, 2015

 Irish Walker Cup star turning professional

Two of Ireland’s brightest golfing talents, Walker Cup stars Gary Hurley and Jack Hume, will be teeing up in the Volopa Irish Challenge next month.
Hurley has enjoyed a superb final season as an amateur, finishing runner-up in both the Spanish Amateur Championship and the European Amateur Championship, culminating in Walker Cup selection.
Hume has had a similarly eye-catching year, with four top ten finishes on the European amateur circuit earning him a spot in the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team along with Hurley and three other compatriots.
After a memorable weekend on the links of Royal Lytham and St Annes, Hurley is excited to be leaving the amateur ranks behind on a high as he ventures into the professional game.
“I cannot wait to play on home soil so soon after turning professional,” said the 22 year old. “I know we’re going to have a great week at Mount Wolseley.
“It’s been a great year for us Irish players, with five of us getting selected for the Walker Cup, so it feels fitting to be coming to the Volopa Irish Challenge so soon after that.
“The Irish public are always so passionate in their support of Irish golf and Irish events so it is great that the Challenge Tour is returning to Ireland. Hopefully I can have a memorable week.”
Hurley and Hume played in all four sessions of the Walker Cup, and Hume, also 22 years old, is eagerly anticipating competing on home soil from October 8-11.
He said: “I thought the most exciting week of my year would be the Walker Cup but now I have the Volopa Irish Challenge to look forward to I’m not so sure – there’s equal excitement.
“The support systems for young players in Ireland are fantastic and this is hopefully an opportunity to show what all the years of hard work has been for and to inspire more youngsters to get involved in our sport.
“Irish golf fans must be the most passionate in the world so hopefully I and some of the other Irish lads can put on a bit of a show and give them something to cheer about.”
Along with a healthy sprinkling of native talent, headed by Ruaidrhi McGee, currently just outside the top 15 in the Road to Oman Rankings who earn graduation to The European Tour for next season, a strong field is expected at Mount Wolseley, with just two events on the Challenge Tour calendar after the Volopa Irish Challenge.
All eyes inevitably fall on the NBO Golf Classic Grand Final in Muscat, Oman at the start of November, so the Volopa Irish Challenge is one of the last chances for valuable Rankings points and as such none of the leading players will want to miss it.
It also marks the return of the Challenge Tour to the Republic of Ireland after a six year absence and will be the only men’s professional golf tournament taking place in Ireland this year.
The Challenge Tour will be visiting Mount Wolseley Hotel, Golf and Spa for the first time and it promises to be a venue offering both world class hospitality and a genuine top class challenge for all the players.
The course, designed by Christy O’Connor Jnr, who is also a tournament ambassador, will provide a stern but enjoyable test for both the Challenge Tour’s finest and the fine array of Irish golfers hoping to join them in the near future.

- Ends -



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