Pat Ruddy Cup for Young Professionals returns for 2017
 Pat Ruddy and Ciaran Molloy

Pat Ruddy and Ciaran Molloy

Influential Irish golfing figure, Pat Ruddy, has confirmed that he will host the second edition of the  Ruddy Cup for Young Professionals at The European Club on May 5.

The inaugural edition of this 18-hole event, which is limited to registered PGA trainees, was won by Ciaran Molloy last year.

He has since qualified as a professional and is therefore ineligible to defend his title.

However, he's a big supporter of the event and endorses it enthusiastically.

“The event is very well timed for assistants, coming early in the season,” said Ciaran.

“And a decent payday doesn't come easily on the region so winning at The European Club came at a great time for me. It took some pressure off and gave me a wee bit of a financial cushion.

“Pat has an incredible enthusiasm for the game. Last year I arrived at the club late in the day to get a bit of a practice round. I grabbed a buggy and set off down the first and I'd got about half-way down when Pat arrived out to say hello, make sure I had a card and really just to talk golf!”

Pat Ruddy admitted that there is some 'selfishness' behind his decision to support aspiring PGA professionals.

“I like to know these guys. I used to know every professional in Ireland back in the 60s, 70s and 80s,” said Pat.

“I am out of touch a bit now so it is nice to see who are the young fellas coming through. I also wanted to give these players going down the PGA route a bit of encouragement. This tournament gives the guys a chance to get a day out of the shop, play a bit of golf and stay competitive.”

PGA in Ireland secretary Michael McCumiskey added; “We have enjoyed the support and patronage of Pat Ruddy for many years and we’re delighted that he has committed again to sponsoring The Ruddy Cup on the prestigious European Club layout.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for the Assistant Players in Ireland to compete with their peers in a pro only format at the beginning of the season, and in doing so compete for the top cheque of €1000.

“We look forward to seeing how the young pros show their skills at this venue that hosted three Irish Championships from 2007 to 2009, all won by Padraig Harrington. We all look forward to visiting The European Club at the beginning of May.”