Ireland captain Tony Goode has named 16-year old Kilkenny talent Mark Power in the 17-man panel for the 2017 season as Ireland seeks a fourth successive win in the Home Internationals.
Power is one of four new additions to the senior squad with Castle’s Daniel Holland, Jordan Hood (Galgorm Castle/MU) and The Island’s Kevin Le Blanc after a phenomenal season that saw him win the Irish Boys Championship as well as the prestigious Peter McEvoy Trophy.
Following moves by Jack Hume and Dermot McElroy nto the professional ranks, Stuart Grehan (Tullamore/MU) and Paul McBride (The Island), members of Ireland’s bronze medal winning team at the World Amateur Team Championship, are now the highest ranked Irish players at 58th and 124th respectively on the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Together with Castle’s Alex Gleeson, who won the AIG Irish Close Championship in August, Warrenpoint’s Colm Campbell, the reigning Flogas Irish Amateur Champion, and Whitehead’s John-Ross Galbraith, beaten finalist at the Close, they will provide a wealth of experience.
Conor O’Rourke (Naas) made his Ireland debut at the European Amateur Team Championship in July on the back of his breakthrough win at the St Andrews Links Trophy and he has since added the Nassau Invitational title.
South of Ireland champion Conor Purcell (Portmarnock) retains his place in the squad, as do Robin Dawson (Tramore/MU), who captured the World Universities Championship this season, and West of Ireland winner Jonathan Yates (Naas).
North of Ireland champion Sean Flanagan (Co Sligo/MU) has been promoted from last year’s Development Panel.
Massereene’s Tiarnan McLarnon was the beaten finalist at this year’s North while Rowan Lester (Hermitage) was second to Purcell at the South.
"Retaining the Raymond Trophy at the Home Internationals will be top of the agenda for team captain Tony Goode as Ireland bid for a fourth successive title in 2017.
“I was thrilled that we managed to win again this year because it looked like it would be a year of transition,” said Goode. “Six of last year’s squad moved into the professional ranks and we had four players making their debut at this year’s Home Internationals.”
In all, 11 players remain from last year’s senior panel.
Next year’s Development Panel will include seven senior players. Kinsale’s John Murphy has been promoted from this year’s Boys’ Panel while Jake Whelan (Newlands) and Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk) have been recognised for their performances in 2016.
Co Louth's Thomas Mulligan, one of the biggest talents in Irish golf, declared himself unavailable for selection for the Boys' panel when it was announced recently.
GUI National Panel 2016-17
- Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint),
- Robin Dawson (Tramore/MU),
- Colin Fairweather (Knock),
- John Ross Galbraith (Whitehead),
- Alex Gleeson (Castle),
- Stuart Grehan (Tullamore/MU),
- Rowan Lester (Hermitage),
- Paul McBride (The Island),
- Tiarnán McLarnon (Massereene),
- Conor O’Rourke (Naas),
- Conor Purcell (Portmarnock),
- Jonathan Yates (Naas),
- Sean Flanagan (Co Sligo/MU),
- Jordan Hood (Galgorm Castle/MU),
- Daniel Holland (Castle),
- Mark Power (Kilkenny),
- Kevin Le Blanc (The Island/MU).
GUI Development Panel 2016-17
- Cathal Butler (Kinsale/MU)
- Peter Kerr (Royal Portrush)
- Neil McKinstry (Cairndhu)
- Ronan Mullarney (Galway/MU)
- John Murphy (Kinsale/MU)
- Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk)
- Jake Whelan (Newlands).