Belvoir Park's Chris Carvill and Queen's University's Gary Wardlow overcame high winds and a strong field at Knock Golf Club to earn their spots in the 2015 Northern Ireland Open in association with SPHERE Global and Ulster Bank.
The European Challenge Tour event goes ahead at Galgorm Castle from August 6-9 with Belvoir Park assistant PGA professional Carvill the only player to break par in very windy conditions on the pristine East Belfast layout.
Carvill’s 69 was three shots better than a trio of 72s from Wardlow (QUB), Chris Carroll (Shandon Park) and Damian Mooney (Ballyliffin), who had a sudden-death playoff to secure the second qualifying spot.
All three players drove close to the first green and the advantage appeared to be with Carroll, who pitched to within ten feet of the hole with Mooney and Wardlow 15 and 18 feet away respectively.
However, Wardlow duly holed his putt for birdie to seecured his spot in the Northern Ireland Open which has captured the imagination in recent years with record crowds attending Galgorm to see the likes of Michael Hoey, Tournament Ambassador and five-time European Tour winner, and other household names in action.
“We are fortunate the NI Open holds a key date on the international schedule and will be looking to attract the game’s top players to Ballymena at the start of August for what promises to be another festival of tournament golf right here in Northern Ireland," explains Gary Henry, Managing Director Galgorm Castle Estates and NI Open Tournament Director.
Next week, Redditch GC in England will host the second Professionals’ pre-qualifier when over 60 players will battle it out to earn two places available for the NI Open.
In addition, amateurs will also get their chance to qualify for the NI Open through the annual North of Ireland Amateur Strokeplay played at Galgorm Castle.
The 36-hole strokeplay event will take place on Tuesday, June 9th with the winner to receive an invite to the NI Open. Entry for the North of Ireland Strokeplay Tournament is £25 (€30) and the closing date is Monday, May 25th, entry forms are available via www.niopen.co.uk/news
For further information please contact Galgorm Castle on 028 2564 6161 or email firstname.lastname@example.org