2018 NI Open – All to play for at Galgorm

Things are moving towards the business end of the season and the NI Open is an important stop-off as players try to climb the rankings with a good week at one of the standout events on the European Challenge Tour.
 

 Galgorm Castle
 
The waiting is almost over as the best players from across Europe and beyond have descended on Galgorm Castle for their chance to become the new 2018 NI Open champion. There is plenty of home interest too as the most popular event on the European Challenge Tour returns to a 72-hole strokeplay format.
 
The Galgorm Resort & Spa NI Open, presented by Modest! Golf comes at a key point in the season as players jostle for position in the final push on the Road to Al Khaimah. The goal is simple; make it into the top-15 in the standings by season’s end will secure playing rights on the main European Tour for next season.
 
Michael Hoey has enjoyed a return to form in recent months and is one of the players within touching distance of the coveted top-15. A strong week at Galgorm would go some way to helping the cause for the NI Open Tournament Ambassador. 
 
“There is so little to choose between the main European Tour and Challenge Tour these days – apart from the obvious, prize money,” says Hoey. “We are at that point in the season where guys who are at the top of the rankings will stick with the Challenge Tour now rather than mix playing both tours in the hope of securing one of the 15 cards available.
 
“That’s why we have a strong field and the public will be guaranteed some great golf and the chance to see some new faces.”
 
There’s plenty of other home interest too, with the likes of Gavin Moynihan, Cormac Sharvin, Gary Hurley, Dermot McElroy and Chris Selfridge all taking part. 
 
“I’m not being biased, but it’s by far one of the best events of the year,” said Sharvin, who made it into Shootout Sunday last year. “I know a lot of the guys on Challenge Tour enjoy the way the course is set up and obviously they enjoy the Irish hospitality.
 
“There is always great support and that’s another reason to look forward to Galgorm. Hopefully we can have an Irish winner this year.”   
 
Galway’s Ronan Mullarney will make the trip to Galgorm after winning the Modest! Golf NI Amateur Open in fine style to book his place alongside the professionals. The Irish international won by three strokes with rounds of 67, 66 and there’ll be professionals competing for their livelihoods this week that would pay good money for the type of scoring Mullarney achieved. 
 
The head of the standings has a very international feel with Denmark’s Joachim B Hansen top of the pile after two wins this season- the Turkish Airlines Open and on home soil in the Made for Denmark Challenge.
 
There will be plenty of other names featuring at Galgorm with former Ryder Cup player Oliver Wilson and fellow Englishman and former BMW PGA Championship winner Simon Khan listed to play.  
      
“Speak to all the guys on tour and it’s always one of the best events they play in all year,” added Hoey. The stage is set for this renewal to be no different.
 
NEW FOR 2018: LIVE MUSIC @ VILLAGE SHOWSTAGE
FRIDAY 17th
Emma Wallace 19.00 – 20.00
Aidan Logan 20.00 – 21.00
Emma Horan 21.00 – 22.15
Fiddler Adam 22.15 – 23.00
 
SATURDAY 18th
Emma Wallace 19.00 – 20.00
Aidan Logan 20.00 – 21.00
 
SUNDAY 19th
Taylor Lally 17.00 – 18.00
Emma Wallace 18.00 – 19.00
Owen Denvir 19.00 – 20.00