Saturday, July 13, 2019

9 hole challenge 2
9 hole challenge 4
For Immediate Publication


July 13, 2019, Portrush, Northern Ireland: Forty-two club 
golfers enjoyed a memorable experience of playing Royal Portrush on the eve of The 148th Open when they competed 
in the Final of The R&A 9 Hole Challenge today.
The Final was contested over the first two and last seven 
holes of the famous Dunluce links before The Open begins 
Siobhan McHugh and Robert Kennedy of Royal Portrush 
Golf Club proved that a little local knowledge can go a long 
way after the pair won the Stableford competition with a nett 
aggregate score of 35 points to be crowned 2019 champions.  
Kathy Loughridge and Conor Cahalane of Malone Golf Club 
in Belfast finished runners-up.
2011 Champion Golfer Darren Clarke, together with Chris 
Hilton, Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St 
Andrews, presented the prizes to the leading teams.
“It was a real privilege to play today and to finish as winners 
is just fantastic,” said Kennedy. “It is an honour to be a 
member here and today was just a bit special. To have 
Darren Clarke present the prizes as well was fantastic.”
“It was absolutely thrilling to be able to play Royal Portrush 
just before The Open gets underway,” added McHugh. “I was really nervous on the 1st tee but once we teed off it was brilliant. It was an absolutely wonderful day.”
The R&A 9 Hole Challenge is central to the 
organisation’s wider drive to promote this form of golf 
as an ideal way to enjoy playing the sport in less time, 
either recreationally or competitively for handicap 
Almost 40,000 golfers entered nine-hole qualifying events 
held at courses throughout Great Britain and Ireland in 2019, 
as well as in Australia for the first time.
Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Golf Development and 
Amateur Championships at The R&A said, “The finalists 
have enjoyed a great experience today and they all relished 
the opportunity to play one of the world’s finest links courses 
on the eve of The Open.
“We are already looking forward to next year’s event at 
Royal St George’s.”
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