A confident Liam Nolan ready to embrace this weeks European Team Championships in Belgium

Ronan MacNamara

Liam Nolan (Image: Niall O'Shea)

Liam Nolan will make his second appearance for Ireland’s European Team in Belgium on Tuesday and it’s fair to say he will tee it up as a completely different player.

A winner.

Wins are like buses, you wait so long for one then all of a sudden you’re a multi winner in a season. The Galway man backed up his South American Amateur win in January with a fantastic win at the Brabazon Trophy which has put him in a position of strength when it comes to making the Great Britain and Walker Cup team in September.


There is a swagger about the NUIG student, one perhaps he didn’t have twelve months ago, a player out of his shell as he glides about Golf Ireland HQ, the hair bleach blonde and the biceps bulging. He looks the part. Confident.

“It’s been a great season I was trying so hard to get over the line and I have managed to do it twice this year so there’s always going to be those tournaments where you just don’t have your A game that week and sometimes you’ll miss the cut by one like last week but it’s been an incredible season for me, I’m very happy with it so far so really looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year brings,” he says.

“The win in January was unbelievable but it was a strange one because we flew out on New Years Day so I didn’t know what to expect but to back it up with a big win and trophy closer to home I feel much more confident in myself now getting the second win.”

Nolan is part of a strong Irish side heading to the European Team Championships in Royal Waterloo Golf Club and he feels he will go there as a different player to the one who made his debut at Royal St George’s last year.

“Last year was my first time on the European team and it was just unbelievable, I was so nervous I didn’t know what I was doing. I had played Home Internationals before but European Teams is just a step up in standard you have all the best players in Europe playing for their countries so there are definitely a lot more nerves compared to other tournaments, buzzing to get going again.

“It’s a huge honour to be picked and especially with everyone playing so well this year it’s a really good compliment to get picked and to say you’re on the team, hopefully I can go over and perform well for the lads.

“I’ve really grown as a player since the last time I was on the team, keep putting myself in high pressure situations that I know what to expect. I know the standard of players that will be there so I need to bring my A game.

“Last year I got very into it to be fair, I was very nervous for the strokeplay but then I loosened up and went for it, that’s the key, don’t hold back and give it a rip. Every time you represent Ireland especially on the teams is fantastic, when you go away as a team and have that one common goal as a group, I love team sports so it’s great to go away as a collective.”

Optimism is high for the Men’s side with Nolan, Alex Maguire (St Andrews Links Trophy), Max Kennedy (Ulster Strokeplay, US Collegiate win), Mark Power, Matthew McClean and Caolan Rafferty all bang in form.

“It was class to get so many Irish winners because last year we were all so close to winning but we were like top five, top five in every tournament so it’s great to get a year where we have brought so many big trophies back to Ireland.

“We are lucky with the Irish team that we are a close knit group, we go to tournaments together anyway. Last week we were in Estonia which was crazy, we are all really good friends. To get a day out at Golf Ireland is great to have a bit of fun but to focus in on what we will do in Belgium so they are great days to have.”

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