First ace for Hurley in Kenya
Challenge Tour — Gary Hurley had the first hole in one of his career in practice for the start of the new season in this week's Barclays Kenya Open.
The West Waterford man and his Walker Cup team mate Gavin Moyihan are enjoying the first of the seven Challenge Tour invitations they were awarded as recipients of grants from the Team Ireland Golf Trust for 2016.
They are joined in Africa by Kevin Phelan, Ruaidhri McGee, Chris Selfridge and Gareth Shaw ahead of what could prove to be a breakthrough season for young Irish players.
Hurley, Moynihan, Selfridge, Phelan and McGee were among 12 aspiring golfers to receive grants totalling €105,000 just last month.
Ladies — Get Into Golf in Balcarrick from April 6
Ladies interested in taking up golf should head to the new Learning Centre at Balcarrick Golf Club on March 23 for a ladies golf clinic followed by a talk from a representative from the Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI), Rory Leonard.
On Wednesday, April 6 there is a free, "Get Into Golf" for ladies taster session — equipment is provided — at the Learning Centre from 6.30pm to 8pm.
An eight-week beginner programme, which includes lessons with professional Dearbhala Behan., starts on April 13 and a warm welcome is assured.
Grant cut, Kelly retires
Nordic League — Stephen Grant bogeyed the last to miss the cut by one as Mike Kelly withdrew after 12 holes in round two of the Mediter Real Estate Masters - PGA Catalunya.
One over starting the day after a 74 on the Tour Course, Grant was two over for the day on the Stadium Course playing the last but made five to miss out by one stroke on four over.
Kelly was always facing an uphill battle and after going to the turn in 40, he bogeyed his 11th and 12th holes (the second and third on the Stadium Course) and retired.
Seamus Power set for Louisiana
Web.com Tour — Seamus Power resumes hostilities on the second tier US tour in the Chitimacha Louisiana Open presented by NACHER.
The West Waterford player, who was tied 23rd at the Le Triomphe Golf and Country Club last year, is 79th in the money list after a T53 in Colombia and a missed cut in Panama.
Bay Hill and Delhi host Irish
European Tour/PGA Tour — Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell tee it up in this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard at Bay Hill.
Matt Every held off Henrik Stenson by one last year with McIlroy taking 11th, eight shots off the pace, on 11 under.
McDowell (72-72) missed the cut by two shots as Padraig Harrington took 49th on four under.
The Dubliner is not in Orlando this year but in New Delhi for the Hero Honda India Open, where he will celebrate St Patrick's Day on Thursday as a special guest of the Irish ambassador.
Harrington is joined at Delhi Golf Club by Paul Dunne and Michael Hoey.
Ryder Cup Trophy Tour for Royal Portrush and Belfast City Hall
Ryder Cup — With 200 days to go until The 2016 Ryder Cup, the European Tour today announced plans for a Ryder Cup Trophy Tour, aimed at building excitement ahead of the event at Hazeltine.
The Ryder Cup Trophy Tour will be officially launched by European captain Darren Clarke at Royal Portrush Golf Club on Tuesday April 12, with the Ryder Cup trophy itself arriving by helicopter from Gleneagles – the site of Europe’s triumph in 2014.
The following day, Wednesday April 13, Northern Irish golf fans will have the opportunity to get up close and personal to the famous trophy, when it is put on public display at City Hall in Belfast, from 9.00am-10.30am and The Dome at Victoria Square from 11am-9pm.
Fans will have the opportunity to be photographed alongside the trophy free of charge – and pledge their support to the European team through social media.
Northern Ireland is one of a select group of European regions to stage the Ryder Cup Trophy Tour over the coming months, with the roadshow also visiting France and Italy, the next two European countries to host the contest in 2018 and 2022 respectively.
The Tour will be in Paris from June 28–30 and in Milan from September 13–15.
In addition, there will a social media campaign launched later in the year – for those people following @RyderCupEurope on Twitter - with the ultimate prize being to win the Trophy Tour at your chosen location for a day.
The 41st Ryder Cup itself takes place at Hazeltine, Minnesota from September 30 to October 2, with Europe bidding to win for a fourth successive time. In recognition of this year’s host nation and, working in conjunction with the PGA of America, the Trophy Tour will also extend to a selection of cities across the US later in the year.
Darren Clarke said: “As captain of the European team, I’m delighted that so many people across the continent will get the opportunity to share their excitement and take part in The Ryder Cup Trophy Tour. I hope that European golf fans will take the opportunity to come and see the Trophy when it’s on display and get behind Team Europe, ahead of the match at Hazeltine in September.”
Richard Hills, European Ryder Cup Director, said: “We are delighted to be launching the Ryder Cup Trophy Tour and giving golf fans on both sides of the Atlantic the opportunity to get closer to the wonderful trophy itself. From a European perspective, however, it’s important to get European fans behind us and we hope the Ryder Cup Trophy Tour will generate significant fan support, both on-the-ground and via social media.”
Fans can find out more details about the Ryder Cup Trophy Tour at: www.rydercup.com