Adare Manor duo set for long-awaited PGA Pro-Captain Challenge

Gary Howie, head professional at Adare Manor

The wait is almost over for Adare Manor duo Gary Howie and John Horgan as they prepare to make their much anticipated bow in the Golfplan Insurance PGA Pro-Captain Challenge.

The duo had been planning on entering the £25,000 event ever since amateur Horgan became club captain earlier this year.

And now they will travel to Luttrellstown on September 10 in the hope of securing a slot in the grand final over the PGA Sultan Course at Antalya Golf Club in Turkey on November 25-26.

It is a rare competitive outing for PGA Professional Howie who focuses much of his attention on his role as director of golf operations at the Limerick resort.

But this event was a commitment he had long penned into his diary.

“I promised John we would play this right when he first joined as captain,” he explained. “It’s a good time of year for it to be honest, things are beginning to quieten down a little bit as we approach the close season so I can afford to take the time away to play.

“Normally I’m really busy at the club, running everything from management of the first tee, to looking after the membership and even a little bit of coaching.

“But I still love playing, and if we could make it to Turkey it would definitely go down as a real career highlight.”

Horgan, an entrepreneur with a handicap of six who picked up golf in his 30s, is prioritising a positive performance when the duo travel to the regional qualifier.

“It’s all about playing well for me,” he admitted. “As nice as it would be to get to Turkey, you just want to go out there and play as well as you can. I get more satisfaction from that than any prizes I could be awarded.

“I’m a streaky player, so I’m either playing well or I’m not! Hopefully I’ll be playing well when we go to Luttrellstown.”

Other players competing in the Golfplan Insurance PGA Pro-Captain Challenge qualifier at Luttrellstown include: Peter Jones and Paudie Doyle (a) (Coollatin), Noel Callan and Frank McCalintock (a) (Faughan Valley), Kevin McGivern and Tommy Hoey (a) (Mannan Castle) and Johnny Young and Paud O’Brien (a) (Rosslare)