Irish trio ready to defend International Team Championship

Paul Kelly

Its a case of new team, same ambition for the PGA in Ireland trio of Damian Mooney, Joe Dillon, and Colm Moriarty as they hope to successfully defend the international Team Championship title at Costa Navarino in Greece (Nov 20-23)

Last year the Irish team of David Higgins (Waterville), Mark Staunton (Delgany) and Simon Thornton (Tulfarris Resort) cruised to a massive 16 shot victory to collect Ireland’s third ITC title.

The vastly experienced Mooney will lead the side this time out. A veteran of numerous ITC campaigns, Mooney first competed in the event back in 1992 alongside David Jones and Geoff Loughry. In 1998 he captained a winning PGA of Ireland side featuring Robert Giles and Damien McGrane.
“It’s always a great week. Normally we are playing against each other but you’re playing as a team so it is different,” said Mooney.
“You never know how the other lads are doing and with two scores out of three to count, there is always that pressure on you.”


In contrast, Headfort’s Joe Dillon will be making his debut in the event and admits he has played precious little team golf.
“I have only ever represented Headfort. As an amateur I never got picked for any of the Leinster teams and I never played for Ireland before I turned professional,” said the 26-year-old.
“We have a good team, both Colm and Damian are very experienced at playing in these types of events. Personally, it was great to get on the team and it has definitely given me something to work towards at this time of the year.”

Meanwhile. Simon Thornton (Tulfarris Golf Resort), David Higgins (Waterville) and Michael McGeady (Evolve Golf Coaching) are in Turkey preparing for the PGA Play-Offs at Antalya GC (Nov 21-23).
The three-round tournament, won by Niall Kearney (Royal Dublin) in 2014, sees some of the UK and Ireland’s top PGA Pros compete for European and Challenge Tour starts in 2019.
The winner will collect £3,500 with players finishing in the top four qualifying for next season’s

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