Conor O’Rourke is hoping to make the most of his opportunities this summer after earning a spot in next month’s Irish Challenge at the K Club.
O’Rourke who is attached to the K Club breezed through a 36-hole playoff to earn a place in the field as he won by a whopping eight shots.
The Naas native is delighted to have been given such an opportunity and hopes he can kickstart a fruitful summer of golf.
“It was nice to get a run around the golf course in tournament condition, it’s in phenomenal shape, absolutely beautiful.
“It was nice to come out on the right side of the playoff and play the course in the condition they will want it when the event happens. I think it will stand up and be a right good test, it’s one of the best courses in Europe.”
The Kildare native has had limited starts this year but with the Irish Challenge, NI Open and K Club Pro-Am on the agenda he hopes he can play his way into form for Q-School in September. Dreams of the Claret Jug are also on his mind as he begins his quest to make it to St Andrews at Open Qualifying in Baltray on Monday.
“I have not played a huge amount to be honest,” said O’Rourke who has a 7.10 am tee time on Monday. “I played in Asia which was enjoyable, played nicely for three or four weeks which was the first I played since October. I am only really starting my season now which is strange but with the Challenge Tour events being in South Africa at the start of the year there were no real opportunities.
“I should be quite busy from now on, Open qualifying on Monday, the NI Open the following week and I will be flat out from there. There’s a lot of things coming up and it would be nice to keep some form up heading to Q-School in September.”
While playing opportunities have been limited there has been no shortage of support for O’Rourke who has found his home in the K Club and is loving his time there with a promising future on the horizion for both parties he hopes.
“Since Michael and the lads have taken over they have done incredible things in the K Club to be fair. They are very forward thinking even with what they announced with six years between Irish Challenge and Irish Open. It’s a huge opportunity and one I am looking forward to taking advantage of as best I can
“I’ve been really fortunate in my time here, Michael has been amazing to me Niall Molloy, Conor Russell, Michael Jnr (MJ), Gary Murphy and Paul Heery the GM have given me great support and great opportunities.
“I have really enjoyed it, great facilities and getting to test yourself on two of the best courses in Ireland can only be good for you. It’s a great place to be and they are pushing things forward brilliantly so I am delighted to be there,” he added.
The Irish Challenge begins on the 28th of July with a €250,000 prize fund up for grabs.