Peter O’Keeffe: Irish AM winner will have foot in Walker Cup door

Ronan MacNamara

Peter O'Keeffe (Photo by Luke Walker/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Two-time Flogas Irish Men’s Amateur Open champion Peter O’Keeffe believes any British or Irish player who wins the title this week will have a fantastic chance of making September’s Walker Cup side.

O’Keeffe is one of eleven Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup panelists pencilled into compete at the Island today with captain Stuart Wilson sure to cast a keen eye on the field that includes fifty five internationals.

The Douglas native has lifted the national title on two occasions in 2017 and famously in 2021 when he became the first player since Pádraig Harrington to hold both the Irish Amateur Open and Close titles but a hat trick would mean so much more than just winning this week.


“It would be great to win it for a third time especially with the year that’s in it, most people are looking at Walker Cup at the end of the year so whoever wins this week will certainly have a foot in the door in that regard,” said the 41-year-old who has had a not entirely out of character slow start to the year which included skipping last week’s Lytham Trophy.

“I’ve won it twice and when you win something a couple of times, there’s an emotional attachment to the trophy so it would be great to get a bit of form, my golf has been a bit of a struggle for the last couple of months which is normal but it feels decent now so just need to get into a rhythm now.

“Personally it would be a nice result for me after the work I put in over the last few months to regain a little bit of form.”

There isn’t much O’Keeffe hasn’t done in the amateur game and making a Walker Cup side would be a special achievement to round off a terrific career.

“Walker Cup would be lovely, it’s important. These things are out of your control to a degree so once you take care of your business in events like these, those things take care of themselves.

“It would be great for myself, my family and my friends because it’s so close to home. A lot of people will travel to it. Making the Walker Cup team is on everybody’s mind and it’s a goal for everybody, for me it would be a nice one.”

Onto matters concerning the 85th playing of the Irish Amateur Open Championship, O’Keeffe is looking to better his 36th place finish of twelve months ago and feels ball striking holds the key to success.

“Conditions are ideal. The Island Golf Club is superb. I played here years ago in the Close, British AM and the Irish AM. This course is well able to host big events, I’m fine with a bit of wind because it tests your ball striking more. The winner this week will be the one who keeps their ball striking under control and keeps it calm.”

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