McClean and Walsh included in Ireland Euro Nations teams

Matthew McClean (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Masters amateur Matt McClean has been included in the Irish men’s team selected to compete in the European Nations Cup, taking place at Sotogrande in Spain from 19-22 April.

The 29-year-old Malone clubman will be fresh off his appearance in Augusta and has been chosen alongside Mullingar Scratch Cup winner Joshua Hill who recently finished runner-up in the South African Amateur.

Robert Moran and Peter O’Keeffe have also been chosen in the men’s team while the women’s selection includes Irish Girls champion Katie Poots and Ulster Strokeplay winner Aideen Walsh.


McClean, Moran and O’Keeffe are part of the provisional Walker Cup panel for Great Britain and Ireland.

Moran enjoyed good finishes in Australia and South Africa before making consecutive cuts on the Challenge Tour in India.

Hill and O’Keeffe will look to go to Sotogrande with silverware in their pockets as they tee it up at this week’s centenary West of Ireland Amateur Open Championship at Co. Sligo Golf Club.

Knock’s Poots will represent Ireland at the French U21 Championship this week.

There are no places for North and South of Ireland champion Hugh Foley, Liam Nolan, Robert Brazill – all of whom played Octagonal matches – and Irish Amateur Close winner Quentin Carew.

Kate Lanigan (The Hermitage) is unavailable due to college commitments.

The European Nations Cup is contested over 72 holes of stroke-play, featuring both team and individual events, showcasing some of the most promising amateur golfers from across Europe.

It provides an excellent opportunity for Ireland’s top amateurs to compete against their peers from across the continent, and team captains Niall MacSweeney and Naoimh Quigg are confident in the potential of their players.

“We are very much looking forward to our return to Sotogrande for the 2023 edition of the Nations Cup which gets underway on 19 April. In selecting the team, we have gone for a blend of youth and experience with competition for places exceptionally tough given the impressive early-season form of our leading players,” said MacSweeney.

Quigg added, “We are looking forward to our second year at the European Nations Cup. The team is prepared for an exciting week of golf on one of Europe’s toughest tests of golf. Kate and Aideen have gained invaluable experience over the last year in representing Ireland, and their return to Sotogrande is another fantastic challenge for them. Katie has developed into an amazing young talent and is relishing her first international challenge with the Golf Ireland Women’s HP Panel.”

Men’s team:

Josh Hill (Galgorm Castle), Matt McClean (Malone), Robert Moran (Castle), Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas).

Captain: Niall MacSweeney (Athenry), Coach: Michael Collins.

Women’s team:

Katie Poots (Knock), Aideen Walsh (Lahinch).

Captain: Naoimh Quigg (City of Derry), Coach: Chris Jelly.


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