Royal Dublin star Max Kennedy will become the latest Irish amateur to tee it up in a professional event when he makes his debut at the ISPS Handa World Invitational in Galgorm Castle and Castlerock on Thursday.
Kennedy becomes the latest to step up a class this year after Matthew McClean, Alex Maguire, Anna Foster and Aine Donegan all made major appearances while Mark Power, Liam Nolan and Sara Byrne made tour appearances.
It has been a sensational year to date for the 21-year-old who picked up his first collegiate win Stateside before winning the Ulster Strokeplay in Clandeboye to qualify for this week’s DP World Tour event where he will be the only amateur in the field. A potentially daunting experience for some but not for Kennedy who is a cool customer and has the PGA Tour in his sights when he returns to Louisville later this month.
“The main tournament I will be focusing on over the next few weeks is the European Tour event in Galgorm on Thursday and a good finish there will kickstart towards a lot of things. I’m really looking forward to that. I’ll ask Liam (Nolan), Alex (Maguire) and Mark (Power) about the pro scene because it is a step up in standard but not that much as we know because it is all about just doing it when it matters,” explained the Irish international.
Kennedy isn’t going there to make up the numbers and enjoy the week as an experience. He only has one thing in his mind: winning. And why wouldn’t he considering he has already tasted success in Galgorm Castle.
“I won the Faldo Series there a few years ago so we’ll see if we can do that again. The Ulster Strokeplay is fantastic and that’s the reason I played in it to be honest to get that start, it’s a great initiative and I feel like in future years they might get better fields for it because not many amateur events have European Tour starts for the winner.
“Hopefully I can make more of a splash up in Galgorm, the main goal is to go and win and you never know what can happen, we’re all good enough, people don’t realise the amateur level is such a high standard nowadays,” added the world number 84 ranked amateur.
Kennedy tees off alongside Dylan Mostert (South Africa) and Manuel Elvira (Spain) from the tenth tee in the penultimate group in Castlerock at 14:09.