Irish amateur golf lost that most precious of commodities on Monday — a winner — when Moyola Park's Chris Selfridge announced that he is turning professional.
The two-time North of Ireland champion and former East of Ireland and Irish Amateur Close winner has decided to take to the paid ranks when he graduates from the University of Toledo next month.
The 23-year old from Castledawson, who was a member of the Irish team that won the Home International matches last year, hopes to make an impact on the Challenge Tour this summer.
He will get up to seven invitations thanks to the reciprocal invitations handed out to players from host nations — payback for wise investment in the Northern Ireland Open at Galgorm Castle over the past fours years.
Blessed with a smooth swing and a fine attitude, Selfridge is 114th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and may well be inside the Top 100 by the time he becomes a professional.
Good form will be important when he hits the tour and the signs are encouraging after he followed his victory in the prestigious Talis Park Challenge in March with a third place finish in the Azalea Invitational.
I have decided to turn professional immediately after I finish college next month. I will play on the European challenge tour in 2015.— Chris Selfridge (@selfridgec595) April 13, 2015
I am forever grateful to the Golfing Union of Ireland for all their help over the past 8 years. I'm very excited for what the future holds.— Chris Selfridge (@selfridgec595) April 13, 2015
Naas' Conor O'Rourke looks like a man to watch as he reaps the rewards for his hard work over the winter.
The Irish Development Panel player finished second, just one stroke behind Josh Davies in the prestigious Duncan Putter at Southerndown in Wales on Sunday.
Davies shot rounds of 73, 69, 74 and 75 to finish on 11 over par 291 with O'Rourke posting 70, 76, 71 and 75 for 292.
Jonathan Thompson, defending champion Jimmy Mullen and current Welsh Amateur champion Evan Griffith tied for third on 294 while another Naas player, Jonathan Yates, posted rounds of 79 72, 74 and 76 to finish 301.
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