The ISPS Handa World Invitational presented by AVIV Clinics gets underway tomorrow at Galgorm Castle and Massereene.
Co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour, LET and LPGA, three players gained their places in the field through the Ulster Men’s and Women’s Stroke Play in Belvoir Park.
Jack Hearn (Tramore) and Aideen Walsh (Lahinch) won the competitions, and the duo will be joined by Rob Brazill (Naas) in the field.
Hearn is a student in the University of South Alabama, and he has delayed traveling back from his home in Carrick-or-Suir to compete in the event.
“I was due to be flying back this week, but I pushed my flight back to next Wednesday. I’ll be missing my first three days of classes. My coach didn’t care in the slightest. It’s a nice excuse to have, playing on the DP World Tour.”
Hearn earned his spot in the field with a four-shot win over Brazill in late May. He said the opportunity to play in Galgorm and Massereene was a big incentive for many players to compete in the competition.
“For me, it was about playing well in the tournament, and trying to win it. To get the invite is a brilliant bonus for me.
“This is my first pro event, and it’ll be very different to what I’m used to. I’ll play as I usually play, in my patient way. It’s the same game as I played in Belvoir Park.”
Despite missing some lectures, Hearn’s has the full support of the golf team in South Alabama, with his coach Ben Hannan travelling to Ireland to caddy for Business Management student.
“Ben always says that good golf is just a series of committed golf shots, and they add up to a good score. It’ll be about patience this week. I’m looking forward to having him with me.”
Hearn tees off on Thursday afternoon at 1.14p. Brazil tees off just over an hour later at 2.40 on the same course, while Walsh is the first to tee off of the trio. She gets her tournament underway in 12.41. All three are competing at Massereene on the opening day.
There are also seven Golf Ireland Professionals competing in the event, including Olivia Mehaffey, Cormac Sharvin and John Murphy.