The ‘next Seve’ who made quite the splash at Rosses Point

Mark McGowan

Severiano Prins (Image Irish Golfer)

How often have you heard a young up-and-coming golfer be branded the ‘next Seve?’ Well, the genuine ‘next Seve’ had his talents on display at the West of Ireland this week. I’m talking, of course, about Dutchman Severiano Prins who, despite missing out on the top 16 by the minimum, had quite the week at Rosses Point.

The son of golf-mad Hungarian immigrants, the origins of the name are evident. “My parents were really big fans,” he told me, “so it was either that or a Hungarian name which is where my family are from. But my dad got his way and his first son was named Severiano. I’ve always said its a blessing and a curse but it’s a good thing I got into golf and I seem to do pretty decently every once in a while so I can keep a bit of honour in the name.”

His third-round, three-over 74 was his best round of the week, but fell agonisingly short of qualification for the match play bracket, but he’d still have reason to celebrate thanks to an incredible hole-in-one at County Sligo’s iconic par-3 fourth hole.


Playing directly downwind and with the hole cut close to the front edge of the elevated green with anything short feeding down into a deep dell in front of the green, putting one close required extreme precision.

“In the practice round we played it with the wind into us off the left which made it a lot easier than it is now,” Prins said, “it’s 25 or 30 miles per hour downwind in the tournament, with the green sloping from front to back and we don’t have anything like that in the Netherlands I can tell you that, so I underestimated it yesterday and the day before.

“I think it was about 165 yards-ish, I measure in metres so I can tell you it was 152 metres, and I was only trying to land it 140 so I hit a 50-degree and it spun up nicely. I’d like to think it would’ve been close anyway, but it hit the pin and dropped and we all just went bananas for a few minutes. But then after that, as I told my caddie, this is real nice but I have to get my focus back because the shot after a hole-in-one is always the hardest shot in golf and I’m trying to make the cut here.

“So, I’ve just had a hole-in-one, my heart is racing and the fifth is, well, I wouldn’t call it an easy tee shot, but it’s really downhill, really downwind,” he pauses for dramatic effect, “and I hit it straight OB.”

And yes, it was the same ball.

“I’ve never been that superstitious,” he laughs, “but maybe I should’ve put that one back in the bag. It’s out there somewhere if somebody wants to go find it.”

The hole-in-one was his second eagle of the week, but despite his impressive performance and prodigious length, he’s still relatively new to links golf.

“My home course is a parkland course and we rarely ever play links golf,” he explained, “and if we do, the conditions are a lot milder and a lot more pleasant than they are here. I really like it though, because you really have to be creative, it’s extremely enjoyable even though I’m now soaked to the skin.

“I’ve played the Irish Amateur a couple of times, I’ve played Old Head and played once in the South, but I’ve never been to the West before, but it’s always tougher conditions than are forecast, it’s always tougher than you think, it’s always colder than you think, the ball never goes as far as you think, the golf courses always play longer than you think, but I love it, I really do.

“I love the challenge, the tougher it is, the more you concentrate and the flipside is that your weaknesses really tend to show through and I really like that because you can get away with things on other courses that you can’t here. I love the course because of its toughness but I’d love to play it with no wind to see how tough it really is.

“I’d really love to make it into the top 16, but I think it looks like I might be a shot shy, and I’ll definitely try to come back in the future if I’m not in the field for tomorrow.”

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