Domestic bliss? GUI reveals selection criteria for 2018
GUI National Panel member and Flogas Irish Amateur Open Champion Peter O’Keeffe who will be looking to build on the success he had in 2017. Picture:  Pat Cashman Photography.

GUI National Panel member and Flogas Irish Amateur Open Champion Peter O’Keeffe who will be looking to build on the success he had in 2017. Picture: Pat Cashman Photography.

Ireland's top amateurs may be encouraged to play more at home following the GUI's decision to announce "new selection criteria" for its senior men's teams in 2018.

In what the GUI says is part of its strategy to be "more open and transparent in its operations", results in overseas events will no longer count towards the Willie Gill Order of Merit, now limited the eight main domestic championships, when that list is used as part of the selection process.

The domestic list will again have a bearing on the make-up of teams selected for the three-man World Amateur Team Championship team (Eisenhower Trophy) at Carton House, the six-man European Amateur Team Championship in Berlin and especially the Home Internationals with the top two in the Willie Gill Order of Merit guaranteed a place on the 11-man team that will try to win the Raymond Trophy for the fifth year running at Conwy in Wales in September.

Niall MacSweeney, Convenor of the GUI’s High-Performance Committee said: "This is a first step for the Union in introducing selection criteria. 

"It's aimed at giving players clarity in relation to how team selections are made but it's very much the start of a process and one that will be reviewed at the end of the season. 

"We will listen to player and selector's feedback on the process before deciding on the way forward beyond 2018."

The lion’s share of the power remains with the selectors, however, who plan to consider the following criteria when making their choices: 

  • Player performances at major amateur championships at home and overseas
  • World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR)
  • Willie Gill Order of Merit position
  • Player performances in team events
  • Player interviews
  • Improved profile of results 

However, in a departure from last year, when the Willie Gill Perpetual Award captured by John Ross Galbraith comprised 20 events, only the eight domestic championships will count towards selection in 2018:

West of Ireland, Co Sligo (28 Mar-3 Apr); Munster Stroke Play, Cork GC (May 5-6); Flogas Irish Amateur Open, Royal County Down (May 17-20); East of Ireland, Co Louth GC (Jun. 1-4); Connacht Stroke Play, Portumna GC (Jun. 9-10); North of Ireland, Royal Portrush GC (Jul. 9-13); South of Ireland, Lahinch GC (Jul. 25-29); and the AIG Irish Close, The European Club (Aug. 4-8).

The High-Performance Committee has also revealed they will select players for this year's biggest events as follows:

*European Amateur Team Championships, Berlin, July 10-14

  • Top 2 players in WAGR 
  • 4 chosen by the selection committee.

*World Amateur Team Championship (Eisenhower Trophy), Carton House, September 5-8

  • Leading player in WAGR automatically selected
  • 2 players chosen by the selection committee.

*Home Internationals, Conwy, September 12-14

  • Top 4 players on WAGR
  • Top 2 from the Willie Gill Order of Merit
  • 5 players chosen by the selection committee

*Should a player be unavailable or in the case of the Home Internationals, meet more than one of the automatic selection criteria, the selection will not be transferrable and will instead become a Selection Committee Pick. For example, if one of the top 4 Irish players on WAGR is in the top-2 on the Willie Gill at the time of selection, the automatic pick will not move down to the player placed third on the Willie Gill and will instead revert to the Selection Committee. 

"Domestic events only" Willie Gill 2017

Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas)045325000800450
Barry Anderson (The Royal Dublin)1507500008025330
Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk)550040080065240
James Sugrue (Mallow)000360015025211
Rowan Lester (Hermitage)00000150550205
Jamie Fletcher (Warrenpoint)0000000200200
Jake Whelan (Newlands)800056003525196
Alex Gleeson (Castle)00860080025191
John Murphy (Kinsale)0154042035550187
Conor O’Rourke (Naas)00780001000178
Ronan Mullarney (Galway/MU)05000055050155
Robert Brazill (Naas)550400350025155
Robbie Pierse (Grange)00010000050150
Reece Black (Hilton Templepatrick)0001500000150
Jack Pierse (Portmarnock)10000410000141
Colin Fairweather (Knock)00400010000140
Marc Norton (Belvoir Park)0040000095135
Stephen Healy (The Royal Dublin)353500400025135
David Kitt (Athenry)0000000130130
Stuart Bleakley (Shandon Park)0040800000120
Colin Woodroofe (Dun Laoghaire)35005800025118
Robert Cannon (Balbriggan)35000005525115
Robin Dawson (Faithlegg/MU)0040000065105
William Small (Tandragee)8000000025105
Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint)00400003525100
Robert Moran (Castle)0007500025100
Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock)004057000097
Paul Coughlan (Castleknock)00000009595
Paul Murphy (Rosslare)000005535090
Hugh Foley (The Royal Dublin)350000005085
David Brady (Co. Sligo)550000002580
Mark Power (Kilkenny)00750000075
Eanna Griffin (Waterford)00007500075
Rory Williamson (Holywood)000370035072
Cian Feeney (Co. Sligo00000006565
Ryan McKinstry (Cairndhu)00000006565
Eddie McCormack (Galway Bay)004000002565
James Fox (Portmarnock)004000002565
Jonathan Yates (Naas)000003502560
Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene)000350002560
Jordan Hood (Galgorm Castle/MU)350000002560
Cathal Butler (Kinsale)000000352560
TJ Ford (Co. Sligo)000030002555
Gary McDermott (Carton House)55000000055
Gary Collins (Rosslare)00055000055
Derek Downie (Kirkistown Castle)00000550055
Darragh Coghlan (Portmarnock)00000550055
William Russell (Clandeboye)00000055055
Sean Flanagan (Co. Sligo)00000005050
Owen Crooks (Bushfoot)00000005050
Aaron Ryan (Thurles)00000005050
Patrick Brennan (Belvoir Park)00000005050
Liam Grehan (Mullingar)00000005050
Ross Kelly (Tuam)00005000050
Jonathan Keane (Lahinch)00004500045
Mikey Burke (Galway)000015002540
Luke Donnelly (Kilkenny)04000000040
Paul O’Hanlon (Carton House)00039000039
Des Morgan (Carton House)00038000038
Thomas Mulligan (Co. Louth)00000035035
Robert Abernethy (Dun Laoghaire)35000000035
David Reddan (Nenagh)35000000035
Eoin Murphy (Dundalk)35000000035
Gareth Lappin (Belvoir Park)00000350035
Alan Fahy (Dun Laoghaire)00000350035
Ross Dutton (Tandragee)00000350035
Eugene Smith (Laytown & Bettystown)00000350035
Cian Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown)00000350035
Pat Murray (Clontarf)00000035035
Gary O’Flaherty (Cork)00000035035
Marc Nolan (Delgany)03000000030
Peter Kerr (Royal Portrush)00000002525
Niall Hearns (Mountrath)00000002525
Kyle McCarron (North West)00000002525
Liam Nolan (Galway)00000002525
Tony Cleary (Woodstock)00000002525
Seamus Cullen (Slieve Russell)00000002525
Evan Farrell (Ardee)02500000025
Shane McDermott (Co. Cavan)00000002525
Michael Shiel (Galway)00000002525
Brian Shally (Dromoland)00000002525
David Foy (Laytown & Bettystown)00000002525
Michael O’Farrell (Galway)00000002525
Thomas Plunkett (Crover House)00000002525
Cameron Raymond (Newlands)00000002525
James McVicker (Knock)00000002525
Aodan Comerford (Galway)00000002525
Michael Ryan (New Ross)00000002525
Matthew Grehan (Tullamore)00000002525
Jamie Knipe (Royal Portrush)00000002525
Harry Gillivan (Westport)00000002525
Allan Hill (Athenry)00000002525
Richard Knightly (The Royal Dublin)00000002525
Thomas O’Connor (Athlone)00000002525
Anthony McDaid (Palmerstown Stud)00000002525
Andrew Hickey (Ballyhaunis)00000002525
Brian Timlin (Galway)00000002525
Jack Walsh (Castle)00000002525
Joe Lyons (Galway)00000002525
Jack McDonnell (Forrest Little)00002500025
Liam Power (Galway)00000002525
Shaun Carter (The Royal Dublin)02000000020
Philip Kelly (Co. Armagh)00002000020
Mark Ford (Cork)01000000010
Ruairi O’Connor (Co. Sligo)00001000010
John Ross Galbraith (Whitehead)000000000
Paul McBride (The Island)000000000
Stuart Grehan (Tullamore/MU)000000000
Conor Purcell (Portmarnock)000000000