Irish golfing legends joined forces with the game’s rising stars for the Team Ireland Golf Pro-Am at The K Club on Monday (2 July). Des Smyth (Team Ireland Golf Leader) with his team of (from left) Philippa Lynch (Carton House), Judith Whelan (Carton House) and Philip Lynch (Royal Curragh) after their victory at the 2018 Team Ireland Golf Pro-Am at the KClub The team led by Des Smyth took the overall prize on the day but the big winners were the members of Team Ireland Golf. The pro-am was established in 2017 as a means of attracting extra funds for Team Ireland Golf, which provides financial and coaching support for emerging Irish talent on professional tours across the globe. Among the big names participating at this year’s event played on the Palmer Course at The K Club were victorious Ryder Cup captain, Paul McGinley, and European Tour winners Eamonn Darcy, Damien McGrane, Ronan Rafferty, Philip Walton and Des Smyth. Since he was appointed Team Leader for Team Ireland Golf in 2017, Smyth has spearheaded this fundraising drive. Last year’s event raised an extra €50,000 for Team Ireland Golf and it is expected that a similar return will be generated in 2018. All monies will boost the Team Ireland Golf fund next year. To date, 100 players have benefitted from support during their formative years on the professional circuit. Among those in receipt of funding in recent years are Shane Lowry and Paul Dunne. In addition to direct financial support, players also receive playing invitations. Last year Gavin Moynihan finished runner-up at the Andalucía Costa del Sol Match Play 9 but only got into the tournament courtesy of a Team Ireland Golf invitation. He went on to win his European Tour card at Qualifying School later in the season. Current players such as Stephanie Meadow and Seamus Power have made significant progress on the professional circuit in the United States. Funded by Sport Ireland, Team Ireland Golf is administered by the Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI). Since the inception of Team Ireland Golf in 1999, the scheme has allocated grants totalling more than €3.5m. Team Ireland Golf Pro-Am Results / The K Club (Palmer Course) Monday 2 July 2018 1 Team Philip Lynch 88 (Des Smyth, Philip Lynch, Judith Whelan, Philippa Lynch) 2 Team Dermot Desmond 84 (Paul McBride, JP Fitzgerald, Albert Sharpe, Matt Doyle) 3 Team Michael Smurfit Jnr 83 (Philip Walton, Gary Owens, Karen Palmer, Emmet Savage) 4 Team JP McManus 82 (Eamonn Darcy, Frank Berry, Maurice Byrne, Tom Cox) 5 Team Michael Fetherston 81 (Ronan Rafferty, Michael Fetherston, MJ Fetherston, Colm Kelly)
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