McGee looking to take second chance after Challenge Tour resurgence

Ronan MacNamara

Ruaidhri McGee (Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Ruaidhrí McGee is in a position he couldn’t have foreseen when he stepped away from golf in 2019, but now having been given a path back into the game, he hopes to seize the opportunity this week at the English Trophy at Frilford Heath.

The 31-year-old was handed some invites from the Challenge Tour and finished runner-up in just his second start in two years in France which kickstarted his career again and now he is on the cusp of the Road to Mallorca Grand Final and a full Challenge Tour card.

The Rosapenna man is just one spot outside the top-45 that will contest the finale having been ranked as high as 25th earlier this season as he looks to beat fatigue and keep his season going.

“I’m looking forward to getting going and looking forward to finishing up! It’s been a long year,” said McGee who is playing his eighth week in a row. 

“It’s been a good year. I came over with a couple of invites and played well at the start so I’ve kind of been going since. It’s been good but it’s turned into a long enough stretch of playing from the start of June until now, it’s been non stop and hard to get some practice in, just been playing a lot. Sunday nights you find out you’re in then you have to get organised but overall I can’t complain. I’ve enjoyed it and hoping for a good week this week.

“I seem to play well when I know I have to play well, I guess I enjoy the pressure so if I enjoy the week and play well, things around the Grand Final should fall into place.”

A tour career looked unlikely for the Derry native but qualifying for the Grand Final next month could open doors to a DP World Tour card.

It’s been a difficult spell for him with little time for practice and planning due to invites coming his way on the Sunday night before tournaments but one more push over the next few weeks could prove profitable. 

“That’s the plan this week to have a good week and wherever that leaves me, hopefully qualify for the final and obviously it gets you into the final stage of DP World Tour qualifying which makes it easier,” he says.

“It all depends on the next few weeks. There’s not much of a turnaround and the main tour kicking off in November. I think there will be four events before Christmas I could play if I had limited status. We could be heading out straight away again. 

“I would love to have the break but if I can play well and jump up into the top-20 on the Challenge Tour, I will take a month and a half off and not play until January, but you kind of have to play whenever you can.” 

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