Twelve of Ireland’s top golfing talent will receive a total of €270,000 in funding through the Golf Ireland Professional Scheme (formerly Team Ireland Golf Scheme) in 2022.
The funding for 2022 will be allocated in three tiers, with the top three players receiving an increased amount of €30,000 each and the next three players receiving an increased amount of €25,000 each. The final six players will receive €17,500 each and will also likely benefit from the 30 starts on the European Challenge Tour that have been secured for Irish golfers.
Minister of State for Sport and Gaeltacht Jack Chambers welcomed the announcement: “The allocations announced by Sport Ireland today will assist emerging professional players to advance their careers, and hopefully lead to further Irish golfing success in the future. Ireland has a strong and proud golfing tradition, which has been further enhanced with multiple major wins in recent years. We are seeing graduates of the Golf Ireland Professional Scheme performing and impressing on the world stage consistently. This funding, together with the hosting of the Irish Open and Ryder Cup in 2027, will support the continued development of the game here.”
Sport Ireland Chief Executive Dr Una May added: “Sport Ireland is delighted to once again provide funding to Golf Ireland for the management and administration of the Golf Ireland Professional Scheme. Sport Ireland has also been pleased to provide additional support to Scheme members through the facilities and expertise of the Sport Ireland Institute. Performances by Irish golfers on the world stage have been a great source of pride for the Irish public. With the support of the Golf Ireland Professional Scheme, I look forward to seeing this continue long into the future. I wish all our golfers the very best for 2022.”
Golf Ireland Chief Executive, Mark Kennelly commented ”The Golf Ireland Professional Scheme is a crucial element of our High Performance Pathway, providing vital support to elite male and female golfers making their way in the professional game. The funding, eligibility for which is based on clear performance criteria, enables these players to compete at international level to further develop their careers.
“Golf Ireland greatly appreciates the support of Ministers Catherine Martin and Jack Chambers, and their Department and Sport Ireland, for their strong and consistent support for this Scheme.”
The new players on the scheme for 2022 are John Murphy and Tom McKibbin. John has already some impressive results in his short professional career and will look to build on those performances as he progresses through his career. Tom had a decorated amateur career which included a number of prestigious junior titles before turning professional in 2021.
The Golf Ireland Professional Scheme funding is welcomed by Olivia Mehaffey, who will benefit from the support of Golf Ireland Professional Scheme Funding for 2022. She commented: “Not only is the financial support from Sport Ireland extremely helpful in paying the day-to-day/week-to-week expenses that are associated with playing professional golf tournaments, but knowing that both the golf and sports community in Ireland are behind me and are supporting me as I make my way through the various stages of professional golf is very helpful and means a lot to me.”
John Murphy also welcomed today’s announcement adding: “As a proud Irishman, I am very grateful to be a recipient of the Sport Ireland grant. As golfers we are very lucky to be getting these opportunities and the support does not go unnoticed. I look forward to representing Golf Ireland as I progress in my professional golfing career’.
There have been a number of notable performance by players so far in 2022 including Olivia Mehaffey 9th at Madrid Ladies Open on the Ladies European Tour in May. Niall Kearney was T15 at Soudal Open on the DP World Tour in May and T15 at the BMW International on the DP World Tour in June. Tom McKibbin has started his season strongly with T3 at Cape Town Open and T7 at Jonsson Workwear Open on the Challenge Tour in February and continued that form with T5 finish in the Italian Challenge in July. Conor Purcell finished T5 at Scottish Challenge on the Challenge Tour in May on an invitation secured by Golf Ireland Professional Scheme. David Carey and Ronan Mullarney will both make their Major debuts at The Open Championship at St Andrews after both progressed through Final Qualifying to book their places in the field. The 150th Open Championship takes place from 14th -17th July.
As part of Sport Ireland’s sponsorship of Horizon Irish Open which took place in Mount Juliet, Co. Kilkenny, from 30th June to 3rd July, Sport Ireland received two professional invites for the tournament. Sport Ireland provides these invitations to players on the Golf Ireland Professional Scheme. Sport Ireland’s nominated players for this year’s tournament were Niall Kearney and John Murphy.
Niall Kearney from Royal Dublin Golf Club turned professional in 2009. Niall, who competes on the DP World Tour, has been in impressive form recently and he continued this at the Horizon Irish Open where his final round of 70 helped him a four under par finish for the tournament with a 58th place finish.
John Murphy from Kinsale Golf club turned professional in 2021 following a successful amateur career where he represented Britain and Ireland in the Walker Cup in May 2021. John had a number of impressive results since turning professional including T9 at Alfred Dunhill Links Championships in October 2021. Unfortunately John did not make the cut at Mount Juliet having been unable to follow-up his impressive two under par 70 on day one.