Liam Nolan is free of exams & hungry for more success after breakthrough year

Ronan MacNamara

Liam Nolan of Great Britain and Ireland (Photo by Oisin Keniry/R&A via Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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After hitting the books for the last seven months, Galway star Liam Nolan is hungry to replicate the form he showed last year which helped him win twice and play in the Walker Cup for Great Britain and Ireland.

Sitting in the NUIG library as he determinedly persevered towards his final college exams in biomechanical engineering, Nolan had all the time in the world to reminisce over his South American Amateur win, his Brabazon Trophy win and his Walker Cup appearance.

“If someone tells me I will have a better week than that I will be doing very well!” Nolan smiles when thinking back to the Walker Cup in St Andrews last September.

“I suppose I had a lot of time to reflect, just being at home and it was an absolutely amazing year. In a way it built up a lot of hunger for this season because you go from playing in a lot of those amazing tournaments to playing nothing. All I wanted to do for the last six months was go out and compete again and find the same form and hopefully a little bit better than last year. Just really looking forward to getting out there again.”

The Galway man made just one further appearance in 2023 after that, the World Amateur Team Championships in October. But, after replacing the clubs for the books for seven months he is raring to get his season underway at the Flogas Irish Men’s Amateur Open Championship at Co. Sligo Golf Club.

“It’s a big weight off the shoulders and it’s been a while since I played a tournament but really looking forward now to getting back out into the open air and competing again,” says the world number 125 who admits he has been playing well in practice but has no idea how he will fare under the competitive microscope again.

“It’s hard to know, I’m just going to go out, I’m playing very well at home and with my mates and I’ve done a lot of practice. I know I can hit the shots so just go out there and see how it goes under more of a competitive scene and hopefully come Sunday I can be in and around the lead somewhere.”

Nolan of course missed the West of Ireland Championship last month where he was runner-up in 2022. Rosses Point holds a special place in his heart and he can at least settle into some home comforts while he dusts off some early season rust.

“It’s a bit more comfortable around here than it might be somewhere else. I always love coming here I’ve been coming here since I was a kid playing Fred Daly so it’s nice and familiar and the course is in great shape so it would be nice to do well here.”

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