Bridgestone, the world’s largest tyre manufacturer, was today confirmed as the new title sponsor for the men’s and boys’ international orders of merit by the Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI).
It takes a true, all round performance to be the best and the GUI has joined forces with Bridgestone to celebrate Ireland’s leading golfers this season.
The Bridgestone Order of Merit (Willie Gill Award) and the Bridgestone Boys International Order of Merit recognise the highest performers in Irish golf across the season.
There is extra significance attached to the Bridgestone Order of Merit, which puts the spotlight firmly on domestic events in 2018, with the top two players guaranteed a place in the Ireland team for the Men’s Home Internationals.
Bridgestone has a long association with golf internationally including the Bridgestone Invitational in the US and through its golf equipment company, Bridgestone Golf. More recently in Ireland and the UK Bridgestone Tyres has sponsored events on the European Challenge Tour including The Northern Ireland Open, The Bridgestone Challenge (UK) and has also been an official partner of the European Tour’s British Masters.
“Having Bridgestone come in and work with us to enhance the profile of the merit awards is tremendous,” said Alan Kelly GUI Communications Manager. “The players competing for the Bridgestone Order of Merit will face stern challenges, whether it’s braving the elements on the course or juggling the demands of study, work and family life off the course. If it’s hard to reach the top, it’s even harder to stay there. The order of merit is the ultimate test, pushing players to perform at a consistently high level throughout the season.”
The Bridgestone Order of Merit comprises eight events starting with the West of Ireland Championship over Easter and also includes the Flogas Irish Amateur Open, AIG Irish Close, East of Ireland, South of Ireland, North of Ireland, Munster Stroke Play and Connacht Stroke Play. When it comes to storylines, the Irish championships never disappoint.
Last season there were record breakers and history makers: Barry Anderson the first local winner at the West of Ireland since 1950 and 17-year-old Reece Black, the youngest ever winner at the East of Ireland. This year promises to be just as exciting.
Two-time Irish Boys champion Mark Power from Kilkenny, who could create history by winning a third title this year, is a contender for the Bridgestone Boys International Order of Merit, which begins with early season international matches against Wales and France. The playing schedule features events across Europe as Ireland’s emerging young players get the chance to gain valuable experience and put their game to the test against the best.
Colm Conyngham, Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Bridgestone Tyres in Ireland said, “Bridgestone is delighted to announce a new partnership with the Golfing Union of Ireland, The Bridgestone Order of Merit and The Bridgestone Boys International Order of Merit. As Ireland is arguably one of the most successful golfing nations on the planet, it is logical for Bridgestone, a significant supporter of international golf, to become involved in supporting golf in this country. We hope our support for emerging golf talent can play some role in helping Ireland to remain centre stage in international golf in the future.”
The full list of boys events is: Ireland Boys v Wales, Ireland Boys v France, Peter McEvoy Trophy, Fairhaven Trophy, Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters, Boys Home Internationals, The Boys Amateur Championship, European Boys Team Championship and the Jacques Leglise Trophy.
Above Photo: Colm Conyngham (Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Bridgestone Tyres, Ireland) with Alex Gleeson (Castle), Ronan Mullarney (Galway) and Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk) pictured at the launch of the Bridgestone Orders of Merit at GUI Headquarters, Maynooth on Monday 19th February 2018. Photo by Golffile/Fran Caffrey.