Royal Dublin’s Max Kennedy has won the Northern Ireland Boys Qualifier event of the 2019 Faldo Series Europe calendar, securing his place at Al Ain Equestrian Shooting & Golf Club, Abu Dhabi for the Europe Grand Final in November for the second year running.
The event saw a superb international field of junior boys head to the esteemed Galgorm Castle Golf Club – the first venue to host the PGA EuroPro Tour in Northern Ireland from 2010 to 2012 and The Northern Ireland Open (Challenge Tour) in 2013 and 2014 – where Kennedy overcame all to win by six shots over three rounds.
This par-72 championship golf course is set within 220 acres of mature parkland in the grounds of one of Ireland’s most historic demesnes, including remnants of the Irish fort of the McQuillan clan. The 7,105-yard layout is bordered by the rivers Main and Braid, which come into play on numerous occasions and include a magnificent oxbow.
Max Kennedy (Under-18) started the third and final round tied at the top of the leaderboard with Morgan Tournemire who shot a superb four-under par 68 in his second round. Tournemire, however, ended his chances of lifting the trophy, with a final round score of 74 (+2) to finish in second place. Kennedy, who made eleven birdies across the three rounds, remained in total control and shot an impressing four-under par 68 to finish six shots clear of Tournemire. Englishman Sam Linskey had a creditable championship, finishing on a total score of three-over par to finish in third position overall.
Commenting after his win, Max Kennedy, said: “I drove the ball very well in the final round which enabled me to have a number of birdie chances, of which I made three. It was also nice to make an eagle on the third hole to get me to three-under par through three holes. My chipping and putting were both very consistent throughout the event which is always a huge help. I played in last year’s Grand Final at Al Ain and I’m even more excited to be going back this year to try and play as well as possible and hopefully win!”
David McAleenon wrapped up the Under-21 category after impressive rounds of 70, 77, 64 (+5). Jude Kane won the Under-16 division to also secure his place at Al Ain. Both McAleenon and Kane will be making their Grand Final debuts in November.
Matthew Faldo, Faldo Series Director, commented: “Galgorm Castle Golf Club is one of Ireland’s finest parkland layouts and it’s a pleasure to host the Northern Ireland qualifier here. Many congratulations to all division winners, especially to Max on a total score of five-under – he played some very impressive golf. I’m looking forward to seeing all three division winners at Al Ain in November for the Grand Final.”
Past winners include Major Champion Rory McIlroy, Eddie Pepperell, Matt Wallace, Danny Willet and former Tour Pro, Nick Dougherty.