Last year’s finalist, Peter O’Keeffe brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Lahinch as he hopes to go one better this year at the Pierse Motors South of Ireland Open Championship.
150 players will take on the 2026 Walker Cup course over 36 holes of stroke play across the first two days, with the top 64 players progressing to the match play stages.
The South of Ireland is a special one for the Douglas golfer as the event feels like home while he tries to capture his first win at the prestigious tournament surrounded by his family.
“Lahinch is always a special one for me being a player from Munster and now it’s like a family holiday week as well for us. We’ve two small kids and they love going up there so I love it,” said O’Keeffe.
“It’s a golf course that suits me I’ve always done well there. I’ve had I think, in the last four or five years a semi-final, a couple of quarter finals and a final so I always seem to end up in the mix and I would love to win it.
“But it’s a hard one to win because you know any match play tournament is difficult so it’s just a case of me trying to get through the qualifying and then treating every match separately and going from there.”
O’Keeffe will be one of the most experienced players in the field and his familiarity with the course may be the key to finally get him over the line at this year’s event.
The Cork man will tee it up at 8.30am alongside recent Connacht Men’s Strokeplay champion, Sam Murphy (Portumna) and last year’s semi-finalist from Naas, Robert Brazill.
And coming off his own recent success in Woodbrook, he will look to build on this in the stroke play qualifying.
“I won the Woodbrook Scratch Cup, it’s been very up and down if I’m honest, like I did a lot of really good stuff over the winter, played well kind of early in the season then had a good showing at South Africa and then it just kind of went flat for me to be honest,” said O’Keeffe.
“Very disappointing there in June, kind of featured in British Amateur and St Andrews Links and then to end up missing both cuts was kind of hard to swallow especially when I felt I wasn’t too far away.
“But it seems to be getting there, my challenge is putting enough time into my practice, just kind of so busy with other stuff in my working life.
“It’s just hard to put the time into it that I need, so I’m trying my best with that. “