West is best: Bumper field set for West of Ireland Championship

Ronan MacNamara

The view from above the 17th green at County Sligo Golf Club

Ronan MacNamara

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The Centenary Connolly’s Audi Motor Group West of Ireland Amateur Open Championship will boast one of the strongest fields in the championship’s history as some of the best amateurs from Ireland and the UK head to Sligo.

Rosses Point (Co. Sligo GC) will play host to the Championship over the Easter weekend as Bray’s Alan Fahy defends the title he won twelve months ago, beating Galway’s Liam Nolan in the process.

There are some notable absentees from an Irish point of view with Walker Cup contenders Robert Moran and Nolan not pencilled in to play – Nolan has college commitments. Matthew McClean will be swapping Ben Bulben for Amen Corner as he competes in the Masters.

Low handicaps are the order of the day with Peter O’Keeffe the lowest Irishman at +6.5 with England’s Arron Edwards-Hill the lowest handicap in the field at a staggering +6.8.

Mullingar Scratch Cup winner Joshua Hill came in at a cool +6.1 while North and South of Ireland champion Hugh Foley is next on +5.8.

The Royal Dublin golfer won the event in 2021 and will be chasing a fifth major title.

James Claridge and George Ash round off the English contingent while Scots Andrew Benson and Matthew Wilson will make the trip across.

Dutchman Severiano Prins will look to become the first European winner since Mikko Ilonen in 1999.

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