Paul McBride lands Porsche European Open invitation

There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth when the GUI opted not to send an amateur to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open this year.

With all the top Irish players in action at the European Team Championships, the powers at Carton House felt it would be better to guard an ace in the hole and push for more invitations for top Irish amateurs in other European Tour events rather than going well down the pecking order.

That decision relieved the pressure on places in the Irish Open field that might otherwise have stymied Team Ireland Golf players like Gavin Moynihan or Gary Hurley, both of whom eventually teed it up at Portstewart

Now the The Island's Paul McBride has been handed an amateur invitation to tee it up in next week's €2m Porsche European Open in Hamburg.

World No 54 McBride is one of three amateurs invited to tee it up at Green Eagle Golf Course next week alongside his fellow Wake Forest team mate Will Zalatoris (the world No 11) and world No 8 Sean Crocker from USC.

We understand there will be more invitations in the pipeline for elite Irish amateurs in the future, including the Irish Open though McBride's invitation appears to have come from promoters 4Sports, who already manage Paul Dunne.

The Greystones man is already in an elite field that also includes US PGA champion Jimmy Walker, former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and US Ryder Cup star Patrick Reed.

It's great news for McBride but bad news for the South of Ireland with the man from The Island now out of the Lahinch event.