Michael Hoey is the new touring professional for Northern Ireland Open hosts Galgorm Castle.
Hoey, who turns 35 next week, was tournament ambassador for last year’s Northern Ireland Open, the first European Challenge Tour event to take place in Northern Ireland for 10 years.
“I am thrilled to continue the strong working relationship we have with Galgorm Castle,” Hoey said. “I was fortunate enough to take on the ambassador role for the Northern Ireland Open and will continue to do so for this year’s event. To become Galgorm’s Touring Professional forges an already strong bond between us.”
The link with Galgorm is a natural fit, for like the Ballymena venue, Hoey’s story has been one of gradual progression.
After winning the Amateur Championship and helping Great Britain and Ireland to Walker Cup success in 2001, success in the professional ranks came slowly.
However, after several years learning his trade, he now has five European Tour wins and three Challenge Tour wins to credit with his most recent victory coming in last season’s Russian Open in Moscow.
The dominant manner of his four-shot showed that he is the type of player who knows how to get the job done when in contention.
This season his goal is to achieve greater consistency in a bid to climb the world rankings and hasn’t ruled out playing in the Ryder Cup one day.
As for Galgorm, securing Hoey couldn’t have come at a better time.
“We are delighted Michael will represent Galgorm Castle on tour and promote one of Northern Ireland’s top destinations,” explained Gary Henry, Director Galgorm Castle.
“We feel Michael is the perfect ambassador to profile Galgorm Castle on the international stage. Michael has retained his close connections with Northern Ireland and we look forward to supporting him as his career develops.”
The announcement coincides with the next phase of an ambitious £8million (€9.6m) redevelopment programme at Galgorm Castle.
Michael Hoey - Biography
- Residence: Northern Ireland DOB: 13/02/79
- Turned Pro: 2002 (plus 3)
- Biggest European Tour prize: €588,149 (Alfred Dunhill Links Championship victory 2011)
European Tour wins (5)
- 2013: M2M Russian Open
- 2012: Tropheé Hassan II
- 2011: Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
- 2011: Madeira Islands Open
- 2009: Estoril Open de Portugal
European Challenge Tour (3)
- 2008: Banque Populaire Moroccan Classic
- 2007: Tessali-Metaponto Open di Pugila e Basilicata
- 2005: BA CA Open
- 2001: The Amateur Championship, Walker Cup (GB&I won)
- 2000: North of Ireland Amateur Open
- 1998: Irish Amateur Open