The 14th at Galgorm CastleWorld ranking points will be available for the first time when the third edition of the North of Ireland Open Strokeplay is extended from 36 to 72 holes at Galgorm Castle this summer.
Organisers have worked hard to establish the event and bring the game’s elite amateurs to the championship parkland track at the Galgorm estate near Ballymena from August 22-23.
(Note: Not all top amateurs are pleased with the Monday-Tuesday dates. One said: “I have 19 days holidays and would love to play in it, but Monday and Tuesday, give me a break.”)
After deciding to extend the event to four rounds, Galgorm applied to the Royal and Ancient (R&A), who had no hesitation in agreeing to award World Amateur Golf Ranking points providing certain criteria were met.
“We are delighted the North of Ireland Open Strokeplay has world ranking points attached to it,” said Galgorm Castle’s General Manager, Gary Henry. “With its new status and key date on the schedule we hope to attract the game’s top amateurs who in turn have the chance, not only to win the prestigious title, but boost their official world ranking.”
The event will take place over two days from Monday, August 22nd when the field will be limited to 84 players with the lowest handicaps.
All competitors will play 36 holes on Monday before the leading 40 and ties qualify for the final 36 holes on Tuesday 23rd. In the event of a tie the outcome will be decided by a sudden death play-off.
Outside of the major Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI) championships, the North of Ireland Open Strokeplay is fast becoming a must-play tournaments for Ireland’s leading amateurs.
It aims to follow in the footsteps of the renowned 72-hole Mullingar Scratch Trophy, which has been won by a who’s who of Irish golfing greats incuding Rory McIlroy and Pádraig Harrington.
Ballyclare’s Simon McConnell saw off a strong field led by Irish international Paul Cutler in 2009 while las season, Newcastle’s Reeve Whitson emerged triumphant.
Entry forms can be downloaded directly from the Galgorm Castle Golf Club website www.galgormcastle.com or by contacting the club directly at +44 28 256 46161.
Cost of entry is £30/€35 and closing date is Monday, August 8th, 2011. Accommodation is available to competitors and supporters at the Galgorm Resort & Spa with rates from £59.