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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

International invaders arrive for NI Open test at Galgorm

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This week’s Northern Ireland Open supported by The R&A marks the return of the European Challenge Tour and a truly international field is set to tee it up at Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort.

There will be players from a host of different nations taking to the fairways of the Ballymena parkland from September 3-6, including South Africa’s Hennie Du Plessis and Jacques Kruyswijk.

Sweden’s Oscar Lengden, who lost in a play-off in last year’s Irish Challenge at Headfort Golf Club, will lead a Scandinavian group including fellow Swedes Jens Fahrbring and Henric Sturehed, while Gudmundur Kristjansson and Andri Bjornsson are two of an Icelandic quartet set to play in Northern Ireland.

Players from around the world will return to Challenge Tour action this week, with Australia’s Deyen Lawson and Dodge Kemmer, from the United States, set to compete in Northern Ireland.

Europeans Hurly Long and Nicolai von Dellingshausen, of Germany, Austria’s Lukas Nemecz and Stanislav Matus, of the Czech Republic, will make the trip to Ballymena, while a strong Spanish contingent including David Borda and Manuel Elvira will also feature.

Swiss pair Joel Girrbach and Raphaël de Sousa will join the field in Northern Ireland, as will a strong group from the rest of the United Kingdom. David Boote, of Wales, Scot Daniel Young, plus Englishmen Daniel Gavins, Jordan Wrisdale and Richard Mansell, who is second in the Road to Mallorca standings, will also make the trip for the Challenge Tour’s return to action.

There will be a strong representation from home with 16 Irish players competing at Galgorm. The Irish contingent is headed up by Tournament Ambassador and five-time European Tour winner Michael Hoey, alongside local favourites such as Dermot McElroy, Ruaidhri McGee and JR Galbraith.

Brendan Lawlor will also tee it up in Galgorm after an historic week competing in the European Tour’s ISPS Handa UK Championship at The Belfry last week. Lawlor is one of the world’s leading disability golfers and continues to fly the flag for disability golf around the world.

Several notable Irish amateurs will also feature at Galgorm as Josh Hill and Tom McKibbin look to put local knowledge to their advantage as they compete once more alongside the professionals.

The Northern Ireland Open supported by The R&A will be played behind closed doors, while adhering to all Government and Tour safety protocols. European Tour Productions will have daily highlights programmes through www.europeantour.com and the tournament website www.niopen.golf. Tournament highlights will also be shown on Sky Sports with daily updates on local TV networks. For live scoring during tournament week, visit www.europeantour.com

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