Reigning British Amateur champion Bradley Neil will join Ireland's top three amateurs in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open - hosted by the Rory Foundation - at Royal County Down next month.
The 19 year old Scot, who played a practice round with Rory McIlroy at the Masters having won the Amateur at Royal Portrush last year, will join three GUI nominee at the world famous links from May 28-31 — The Island's Gavin Moynihan, Naas' Jack Hume and West Waterford's Gary Hurley.
According to a press release, the three Irish amateurs were short-listed by the Selection Committee of the Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI).
“We are grateful to the European Tour for allowing us to nominate three amateurs to compete in this year's Irish Open, which is shaping up to be a fantastic tournament,” GUI General Secretary Pat Finn said of the selection of the trio, who happen to be the three leading Irish player in the latest World Amateur Golf Ranking with Hurley 31st, Hume 48th and Moynihan 56th
“For Gavin, Gary and Jack, it will be a great learning opportunity and hugely beneficial to their development. And with such a strong field already confirmed, this year’s tournament really gives our amateurs an opportunity to show what they can do on a global stage.
“Let’s not forget the performance of a 22-year-old Shane Lowry in 2009 at Baltray when he became the only amateur ever to win the Irish Open. This remains a huge inspiration for our amateurs and reminds them that sometimes dreams do come true."
As it happens, just two amateurs have made the cut since Lowry's fairytale win — Paul Cutler at Killarney in 2011 and Hurley at Fota Island last year.
2009 - Co Louth
- Shane LOWRY (AM) Esker Hills WIN 67 62 71 71 -17 (playoff)
- Eoin ARTHURS (AM) Forrest Little MC 76 68
2010 - Killarney
- Alan DUNBAR (AM) Rathmore MC 72 76 +6
- Paul CUTLER (AM) Portstewart MC 73 75 +6
- Cian CURLEY (AM) Newlands MC 73 75 +6
- Pat MURRAY (AM) Limerick MC 78 76 +12
2011 - Killarney
- Paul CUTLER (AM) Portstewart T21 69 67 71 72 -5
- Kevin PHELAN (AM) Waterford Castle MC 72 73 +3
- Alan DUNBAR (AM) Rathmore MC 70 77 +5
- Dermot MCELROY (AM) Ballymena GC MC 72 77 +7
2012 - Royal Portrush
- Dermot MCELROY (AM) Ballymena GC MC 71 72 -1
- Alan DUNBAR (AM) Rathmore GC MC 71 78 +5
- Harry DIAMOND (AM) Belvoir Park MC 77 74 +7
- Patrick MCCRUDDEN (AM) Royal Portrush MC 80 74 +10
2013 - Carton House
- Gavin MOYNIHAN (A) The Island MC 73 72 +1
- Kevin PHELAN (A) Waterford Castle MC 72 73 +1
- Rhys PUGH (AM) Wales MC 73 74 +3
- Reeve WHITSON (AM) Mourne MC 76 72 +4
2014 - Fota Island
- Gary HURLEY (AM) West Waterford T73 72 66 81 73 +8
- Gavin MOYNIHAN (AM) The Island MC 69 75 +2
- Dermot MCELROY (AM) Ballymena MC 73 73 +4
- Robbie CANNON (AM) Balbriggan MC 79 74 +11
Ireland's top amateurs are in the UK this week for the Lytham Trophy at Royal Lytham and St Annes, this year's Walker Cup venue. (Lytham Trophy draw)
How many Irish players will make Nigel Edwards' Great Britain and Ireland side remains to be seen but there is certainly no shortage of candidates.
While Greystones' Paul Dunne is in action with UAB in the US, Moynihan, Hurley and Hume are joined at Royal Lytham and St Annes by Cormac Sharvin, Daniel Holland, Colm Campbell, McElroy, Richard Bridges, Eugene Smith, Robin Dawson, John-Ross Galbraith, Gary Collins and Geoff Lenehan.