Gray excited to return to Roganstown

Fiona Gray (Image: Golf Ireland / Golffile)

By Valerie Clancy

Fiona Gray (St. Patrick’s) is hoping to continue her fine form on home turf as she looks forward to playing in today’s Irish Open for Players with a Disability. The event takes place at Roganstown Golf Club for the second year and has opened so many doors for Gray in the last 12 months.

“I’m absolutely really excited because a year ago a door opened for me, and it’s opened a lot of doors and look where I am now. I’m really excited to go back and renew that challenge, if you know what I mean, so as I said one door opened and now excited to go back to home turf and do the best that I can”


“Coming off the back of the G4D there and Sweden there, expectations are high obviously and winning at Wentworth so I know I can play well; I just have to do it on the day”

The Downpatrick native who suffers with a lower limb injury, is enthusiastic about playing at such a high level and it has encouraged her to get to the highest level she can, as she has been competing in G4D events internationally this season.

“It’s being going well, ups and downs, obviously coping with injury is another battle, so really looking forward to playing on home turf and playing with the boys basically that I played with in G4D and there’s lots of other girls going to be there which is exciting so yeah, really looking forward to it”

“Oh, it was brilliant, you know it was really another level, you know the Irish open, the EDGA and the G4D, it’s really another level of the golf that I used to play when I was in the army basically, to a high level playing in county golf and it’s really given me so much enthusiasm to get out there and play and practice more and want to exceed basically and get myself noticed and then promote ladies golf as well, you know disability golf and get more ladies going and coming along.”

Golf has played a huge role in Gray’s life, and she endeavours to give back to the game she loves in many ways. Gray is the current Lady Captain at St. Patrick’s Golf Club, the Junior convenor, and she also works in the bar.

“Yeah so, I started (playing golf) when I was about 13 and then I joined the army, but I played other sports as well. So I played hockey, golf was not my main sport then. Hockey and cricket were my main sports but then when I joined the army it was between 2006 and 2009 and it was really playing golf all the time and that’s when I got my handicap down, but then injury kicked in and that pulled me back for a couple of years. I have the ability to do it, I have the ability, it’s just the injury really kicks me back if you know what I mean, so I’m really struggling so with injury, but mentally I can do it. It’s just having the confidence to get back there”

“I had to give up all the other sports. I’m a very team person but also a very individual golfer. I go out there to prove my best ability against other people, but I enjoy team play also.”

“I’m the lady captain this year. I’m Junior convenor as well but I’m going to have to stand down at the end of this year because my life with golf has taken up another level and that’s my priority fortunately, so something has to give.”

Gray also thoroughly enjoys her role behind the bar at St. Patrick’s.

“Yes so, I work in the bar in the golf club, and I can see what’s going on and its good craic, so I enjoy it”

74 competitors will tee it up over the two-day event at Roganstown from 27-28 June. Gray looks forward to the challenge coming off the back of competing alongside Kipp Popert at the recent G4D Tour @ Scandinavian mixed.

“That was very exciting. I found the course very difficult because obviously different tees, and always indecisive with clubs and I was making too many mistakes, but it was nice to play against the top boys, the top men like Kipp. I played with Kipp, they are playing at a completely different level and it was really nice to be at that high level and you know it’s a completely different game to what we play at club level back here in Northern Ireland so, and that’s what I aspire to achieve.

“I know I’m older now but you know there’s senior golf, but I would like to do the EGA Senior Europeans, I’d like to go and play in that. That’s another high level to achieve. Yes, that’s what I need more competitive playing golf than just going out in club golf. What I’m enjoying now is playing at that level and travelling the world to do that.”

For more information on the Irish Open for Players with a Disability, click HERE

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