Irish Seniors Close will be played for Maurice Kelly Trophy
The late Maurice Kelly (Naas) celebrating his 2018 Irish Seniors Amateur Close Championship win at Enniscrone Golf Club in his inimitable style (06/07/2018). Picture by  Pat Cashman

The late Maurice Kelly (Naas) celebrating his 2018 Irish Seniors Amateur Close Championship win at Enniscrone Golf Club in his inimitable style (06/07/2018). Picture by Pat Cashman

The winner of next week’s Irish Seniors Close Championship will receive the Maurice Kelly Trophy following a decision by the Golfing Union of Ireland to name the trophy after the five-time champion, who passed away on 28 December last.

Kelly won the last of his five Close titles at Enniscrone in 2018 and was a prolific winner throughout his Seniors career, winning the inaugural Seniors Close Championship in 2009.

Maurice Kelly (Naas) Picture by  Pat Cashman

Maurice Kelly (Naas) Picture by Pat Cashman

At international level, the former Naas and Killeen clubman played 99 times with Ireland from 2005 to 2018, enjoying multiple successes at both the Seniors Home Internationals and European Seniors Team Championships..

Mark Wehrly, Championships Manager of the GUI, said: "Maurice Kelly was such a great competitor and it is only fitting that the Union has honoured his memory by putting his name on the Irish Seniors Close trophy. Maurice lifted this title a staggering five times. He was universally respected by his peers and we know this trophy will now be contested even more fiercely as a result."

The Irish Seniors Close Championship, now 10 years old, was first staged in 2009 at Roscommon. That first championship was won by Maurice Kelly and he retained his title the following year at Blainroe. Kelly triumphed again in 2014, at Tullamore, and in 2015, at Grange.

Kilkenny Golf Club will host this year's championship from 3 to 5 July. Played over 54 holes, the championship is open to male players over 50 years of age.