Ten Walker Cup panel members will descend on the Island Golf Club this week for the Flogas Men’s Irish Amateur Open Championship with Hugh Foley one of the leading contenders for the championship and the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup squad.
Ireland’s national open will head to the Island for the second successive year before the cream of the crop from the women’s game take to Woodbrook for the first time the following week.
Foley arrives after a fourth place finish at the Lytham Trophy at the notoriously tough Royal Lytham & St Annes which has set him in good stead for another stern examination as he looks to add to his West, North, South and Close titles.
The Island holds a special place in the heart of the Royal Dublin man and it would be a special place to win his maiden Irish Amateur gong.
“I love the Island. It’s really difficult which I tend to like,” says the Clontarf native. “I’m comfortable on tough links courses. It’s one of the first courses I played when I started golf I was a cadet member for a year when I was ten and I caddied there for a couple of years over Covid.
“I really enjoy the golf course and hopefully I can improve on last year’s performance, that would be great.
“I won’t get to play them all this year so I don’t really go into events looking at needing to win this one and that one. I love playing Irish championships and the courses that they play on, I’ll be coming at it from a point of view of preparing well and giving it a go.”
The Dubliner clawed his way into contention on the back nine on Sunday last year despite not having his A game – that would come later that summer. His challenge didn’t materialise and he settled for a sixth place finish his lowest of the Irish championships last year.
“Last year I got to within two with nine holes to play and was struggling with my game so I was pretty happy to be up there and having a chance,” says Foley who has been grouped with England’s John Gough and Scotland’s Connor Graham in an all Walker Cup panel threesome.
“You need good golf around there especially the last three or four holes which are so difficult. It would be nice to be in contention again and that’s all you can ask for.”
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