Glasson’s Colm Moriarty looks like the man to beat in the 109th Irish Professional Championship at Bunclody Golf and Fishing Club.
The Athlone man has been in sensational form this year and after finishing second to Tim Rice two years ago, he’ll be keen to add his name to the list of champions in Co Wexford this week and take home the €3,600 winner’s cheque from the €24,000 prize fund.
The former Walker Cup star has won seven times in 15 starts since the beginning of June but he faces tough opposition from the likes of defending champion Simon Thornton from Tulfarris Golf Resort, who picked up just his second win of the season at Cahir Park last week.
Carlow’s Damien McGrane, the 2016 champion, is always a factor while 2013 winner Michael Geady will be seeking his fourth win of the season.
Bunclody, which opened in 2009, is situated in 300 acres of breathtaking parkland in the shadow of Mount Leinster in Co Wexford. The course, which measures over 7,000 yards, has quickly gained a reputation as one of Ireland's foremost parkland venues.
Under course superintendent Mark Byrne, there has been long-term investment in new machinery while recent work has centred on improving the quality of the bunkers.
The Irish PGA Championship remains one of the world's oldest professional tournaments, dating back to 1907.
It has been won by many of Ireland’s leading players including Christy O'Connor, Harry Bradshaw, Des Smyth and Ryder Cup captains, Paul McGinley and Padraig Harrington.
Thornton held off Banbridge Golf Club professional, Richard Kilpatrick to win his second Irish PGA Championship title at a wet and windy Galway Bay Resort last year.
The top 50 and ties after 36 holes will tee it up in Thursday’s final round.
109th Irish PGA Championship, Sponsored by TLC Nursing Homes, Bunclody Golf and Fishing Club (6,728 yds - Par 72)
Round 1/Round 2
0730/1040 D Kiely (Faithlegg), D Walsh (Wexford);
0740/1100 G McLean (Bunclody Golf & Fishing Club), T Delaney (Carlow), P Jones (Coollattin);
0750/1110 L Whelan (Craddockstown, P Masterson (Macreddin), S O’Donoghue (Kilkenny);
0800/1120 E Doyle (The Eddie Doyle Golf Academy), M Murphy (Mount Wolseley Golf & CC), D Hayes (Dungarvan)
0810/1130 J Dreelan (Rosslare), S Cannon (Athenry), K Goodwin (Beaverstown);
0820/1140 S McCabe (Killeen), M Burke (Concra Wood), A Gorman (Killeen Castle);
0840/1150 P McLaughlin; M Collins (Charleville), C Power (McGuirks Golf);
0850/12010 C Stewart (Craig Stewart Golf Ltd), K McDermott (Hermitage), J Casey (Tralee);
0900/12020 G Young (Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort), M O'Boyle (Heath), L Campbell (Co Armagh);
0910/12030 B Sweeney (Naas), M Looby (Greystones), M Beckett (Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort);
0920/1240 R Higgins (Balbriggan), A Mulhall (Ardglass), C Doherty;
0930/1250 S Franklin (Cregmore Park), H Coyne (Carton House), E Byrne (Rathfarnham);
0950/1300 P Dooley (Drive Golf Performance), J Howard (Fota Island), P O'Hagan (Luttrellstown Castle);
1000/1310 C Hegarty (Millicent), G Sweeney (Elmgreen GC), A Hanlon (Stackstown);
1010/0730 D Murphy (Grange Castle), R Bridges (Castle), E O'Connor (Kilkenny);
1020/0740 R Ryan (Thurles), J Walsh (Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort), R O'Neill (Galway);
1030/0750 R Giles (Greenore), E Tracey (Ballina), J Bolger (Kilkenny);
1040/0800 M O'Mahony (Titleist National Fitting Centre), D Barry (Douglas), J Scullion (J Scullion Golf);
1100/0810 S Jenkinson (St Margaret's Golf & CC), G Burke (Royal Curragh), R O'Donovan (Dun Laoghaire);
1110/0820 A Dunmore (Bundoran), S Quinlan (SQ Golf), J Dillon (Headfort);
1120/0840 D Mooney (Damian Mooney Golf), T Rice (Limerick), B McElhinney (Evolve Golf Coaching);
1130/0850 A Hogan (Edmondstown), C McNamara (Monkstown), B Doheny (Callan);
1140/0900 D Higgins (Waterville), R Kilpatrick (Banbridge), M McGeady (Evolve Golf Coaching);
1150/0910 E Brady (Clontarf), J Quinlivan (Mullingar), M Whelan (Castlewarden Golf & CC);
1210/0920 S Thornton (Tulfarris Golf Resort), C Moriarty (Glasson Hotel & CC), D McGrane (Carlow);
1220/0930 N Grant (Knock), D Gleeson (Old Conna); B Jnr McCormack (Royal Dublin);
1230/0950 M O'Sullivan (Piltown DR), J Dignam (Slade Valley), P Devine (Sutton);
1240/1000 G Byrne (Palmerstown House Estate), M Dunmore (Bundoran), C Watt (Royal Dublin);
1250/1010 L Walker (Dundalk), T Higgins (www.tedhiggins.com), S Barry (Royal Tara);
1300/1020 G Madden (Glenlo Abbey), G McGrane (St Anne’s), B Kerley (Ardee);
1310/1030 B Cohen (Wexford) R Leech (Dunloe), E Arthurs (Kinsealy Grange).