McElroy hoping to kick on as EuroPro visits Clandeboye GC

John Craven
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McElroy hoping to kick on as EuroPro visits Clandeboye GC

Dermot McElroy (Photo by Richard Martin-Roberts/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy is hoping to carry his winning form into this week’s Northern Ireland Masters where Jonny Caldwell will host the EuroPro Tour’s visit to home club Clandeboye GC from Wednesday, August 18-20.

McElroy is gunning for more glory after a final round 64 saw him claim victory at the Cubefunder Championship and elevate him to fourth spot on the Order of Merit where the top-5 at season’s end earn a Challenge Tour card for next season.

“It’s a course I know well and a course I generally play well around so I’m very excited about that,” said McElroy who’s been in brilliant form this season, making seven of eight cuts with a runner-up finish to go with last week’s win.

“The way I’ve been playing this season, I’ve only shot three over-par rounds all year and they’ve all been one-over, all the rest under-par so it’s been a very consistent year which is great to see so I’m hoping to keep it going.

“I know the course very well and it suits my game. It’s a very strategic course. You’ve got to place the ball in the right positions which is my type of golf so I’m really looking forward to it.”

No longer under the Team Ireland umbrella, McElroy has taken advantage of his full EuroPro schedule this term, supplemented by the odd start on the Challenge Tour and Main Tour. This year’s Christy O’Connor Jnr award winner at the Irish Challenge, McElroy also enjoyed a top-20 finish at the European Tour’s World Invitational at Galgorm Castle, and although he’s clearly relished home conditions this term, it’s been a drill that he first turned to some 18-months ago that has unlocked the results the 28-year old has been enjoying this season.

“I’ve been working on a little drill for about a year and a half to do with my hips from the backswing,” McElroy explained. “Generally I get a little bit quick with my hips and I’d get that left shot quite often so I had to get that out of my game because in 2018, 2019, those swings were coming in maybe three times a round.

“They’re very destructive shots but what I’ve been working on the past year and a half seems to be paying dividends. That left shot has completely gone out of my game and that gives me a lot of confidence. I can take aim down the left side and hammer a straight fade which is great.”

Knowing a tactical challenge awaits this week where positioning the golf ball will be key, eliminating one side of the golf course should stand McElroy in good stead to mount another challenge and in turn go a long way towards locking down his Challenge Tour card with just four regular season events to go before October’s Tour Championship at Alcanada.

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