The Irish Challenge returns to Headfort Golf Club for the first time since 2019 when the next generation of golfing stars take their chance from July 27-30.
Spanish raider Emilio Cuartero Blanco secured his maiden victory in a play-off last time around but the home contingent will hopes Irish eyes are smiling at week’s end at the stunning Christy O’Connor Jr designed parkland.
Not only will Irish players hope to land the title but once again the Christy O’Connor Jr Memorial Trophy will be awarded to the highest placed Irish finisher. First introduced in 2016, the incentive to be Ireland’s best on the week has never been higher with the top home talent receiving an invitation to the 2024 Horizon Irish Open on the DP World Tour.
“Playing a home event, you never need too much more incentive to play well but having a spot to qualify for the Irish Open is a great added bonus,” says Conor Purcell, sure to be a leading home contender come game week in Kells.
“Knowing that if you have a good week, you then have an opportunity to test yourself on the highest rank in Europe is exciting.
“Headfort is a place I’m quite familiar with so I’m really looking forward to the challenge in trying to get that Irish Open spot, as well as a win on the week itself.”
Purcell has been a leading light for Ireland on the Challenge Tour so far this season where he sits just outside the all-important top-20 on the Road to Mallorca.
The top-20 players on the standings at the conclusion of the Grand Final in Mallorca will earn DP World Tour playing privileges for the 2024 season. The last player from the island of Ireland to graduate from the Challenge Tour was Tom McKibbin after finishing tenth on the 2022 Rankings and Purcell hopes home comforts can play a big part in helping him replicate the Holywood talent’s achievements.
“It’s always nice playing at home but Headfort especially has always been a place I’ve enjoyed going to,” Purcell says.
“My sister lives there so I’ve spent a good bit of time down in Kells, and Dad [Joey] has a connection having been the Head Pro there for a while.
“I’ve lots of family down that neck of the woods between Kells and Mullingar so it’s going to be nice going back to a familiar place, staying with my sister and hopefully having a bit of home support for what promises to be a great week.”
The €250,000 Irish Challenge touches down at Headfort from July 27-30. Ticket registration will be absolutely free with more information coming soon.
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