McGee buzzing to begin 2023 season with full Challenge Tour status

Ronan MacNamara

Ruaidhri McGee (Image: Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Ruaidhrí McGee didn’t play his first Challenge Tour event of last season until June but played well enough over the summer to earn a full card for this season.

McGee was runner-up in just his second start on Europe’s second-tier before registering two further top-10s as he narrowly missed out on a place in the Grand Final but guaranteed full status as a consolation.

Speaking ahead of the season opening Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open, the Derry native has the taste for competitive golf again and is chomping at the bit to tee off on Thursday.

“I can’t wait to get started,” he said. “Playing half the season on the Challenge Tour last year gave me a taste of what it’s like and I just can’t wait to get going this week and see what the season brings.

“Last year I was getting invites and hoping to get into events so it’s great that at the start of the year I can play pretty much everything..

“I had a few good results last year and I want to keep going from there and do more of the same and hopefully I’ll be OK.”

McGee had been spending his time in America over the last few years particularly during the pandemic, driving to Monday qualifiers and playing in some mini tour events. But now his Florida home acts as a winter training base where he feels he has put in some good work in conditions similar to what he can expect in South Africa this month.

“I haven’t played a ton of golf in South Africa but from what I can see this week, it will be about keeping it straight and play solid for the four weeks overall, don’t do anything crazy and just keep the ball in play.

“The big thing is the weather so the grass is in a similar condition to the US. When you’re in Ireland the courses this time of year aren’t in great shape, the greens aren’t great so being in Florida the greens are perfect and are like what you get here.”

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