100 days to go to World Amateur Team Championships
 100 days to go. Paul Dunne and Maria Dunne with the Espirito Santo and Eisenhower trophies — the prizes up that will be up for grabs in the World Amateur Team Championships at Carton House in August and September. Picture: Golffile | Fran Caffrey

100 days to go. Paul Dunne and Maria Dunne with the Espirito Santo and Eisenhower trophies — the prizes up that will be up for grabs in the World Amateur Team Championships at Carton House in August and September. Picture: Golffile | Fran Caffrey

Paul Dunne is urging fans to get behind the Irish teams that will bid for gold when Ireland hosts the World Amateur Team Championships for the first time at Carton House this summer.

With just 100 days to go before the cream of world amateur golf tees it up at the Maynooth resort, Ireland's world No 73 believes it's an unmissable opportunity to see future world stars in action over the Montgomerie and O'Meara courses.

“The standard is just really high,” said Dunne, who tied for 22nd in Japan in 2014 when Spain's Jon Rahm smashed Jack Nicklaus' 72-hole scoring record to win the individual title and Bryson DeChambeau helped the USA win the Eisenhower Trophy. 

"It's a great spectacle and a great tournament to watch if you want to see future champions.

"In all my time in amateur golf that was the hardest team I have ever had to make. It was great to be selected because it is the pinnacle of international amateur golf."

Ireland's men's team was 11th in 2014 but matched the women's trio in winning bronze for the first time in Mexico two years ago and Maria Dunne, who played in 2014 and went on to Curtis Cup glory at Dun Laoghaire two years ago, believes the three-strong women's team can take their game to new heights with strong home support.

"The support we had in Dun Laoghaire for the Curtis Cup inspired me to take my game to another level that I didn't know I had in me," said Maria, who will be encouraging clubs and schools to support the players as part of her role as Women's and Girls Coordinator with the CGI.

More than 1,000 players and officials from 72 nations are expected to attend what will be a two-week long festival of golf with the women's Espirito Santo Trophy set for August 29 to September 1 and the men's Eisenhower Trophy scheduled for September 5-8.

Sinead Heraty, Chief Executive of the ILGU said: “Ireland is renowned as a golfing location and has produced numerous world class golfers during both the historic and modern era. The Espirito Santo and Eisenhower Trophies promise to provide two weeks of exciting viewing and an opportunity to see some of the professional stars of the future.”

Her views were echoed by Pat Finn, Chief Executive of the GUI.

He said: “This is the first time that Ireland has hosted an amateur golf tournament on this scale. In every aspect, the World Amateur Team Championships is a spectacular event.

"It is a rare opportunity to see so many of the world’s best golfers in action. This momentous occasion will act as a boon to the local economy in north Kildare with restaurants, pubs and hotels in demand throughout August and early September.”

The event is expected to cost €650,000 but with Sport Ireland and Fáilte Ireland contributing in €125,000 and sponsors also helping with costs, the total exposure of the ILGU and GUI is expect to be around €400,000.

Tickets are free of charge, those wishing to attend are asked to register in advance at www.watc2018.ie.