The Monaghan Irish Challenge which takes place at Concra Wood Golf Club, Castleblaney, from the 4th to the 7th of October is gaining significant momentum and held their official launch today.
The event, which forms part of the Challenge Tour, is just one step away from the main European Tour and is a Tour from which many outstanding names have made the leap to the top including two time double Major winner Brooks Koepka. The event in October will see over 30 Irish professionals take part with names such as Moynihan, Sharvin and Hurley among those confirmed so there will be plenty of local talent on display and spectators are encouraged to attend and support.
With €180,000 in the prize find, €28,800 of which goes to the overall winner, the event has sought out the support of the local Enterprise departments and facilities as well as County Councils as well as other funding and speaking at the launch, Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation Heather Humphreys said, “It’s a real pleasure to be here at Concra Wood and I think this is a wonderful initiative and what’s wonderful is that it’s a collaborative effort because not alone does it involve the golf club here but also those at Clones, Mannan Castle and Moncghan. What you are doing is showcasing Monaghan in all of it’s splendour and there couldn’t be a more beautiful place to do it than Concra Wood.”
“We have a lot to offer in this county and it’s only through initiatives like this that we bring it on to the wider stage. It hasn’t been easy over the years but you have continued with this event, it’s a credit to everyone here at Concra Wood we are very proud of what you are doing here.”
Chief Executive of Monaghan County Council Eamonn O’Sullivan commented, “The County Council are delighted to be associated with this event as it gives us a chance to showcase our beautiful county. Within half an hours drive of here (Concra Wood), we have an entire golf product waiting to be discovered and there are significant benefits to be seen in accommodation, restaurants and other services locally from this event and the subsequent follow on business.”
“Since we first came to talk about the event there has been significant work undertaken by Conor and the team here. You can see it in the condition of the course and the extra work undertaken in the new facilities such as the chipping area and pathways etc. There is still a bit to do but the changes are very noticeable and well done to all concerned.”
The club at Concra Wood has endured a difficult few years and just this year was under a hard deadline to raise €1 million in four months just to stay in business. It would have been tough to see the place go after all the work that has gone into it and thankfully they managed to raise the finds through selling shares in the club at €5,000 each. In somewhat of a golfing success story, not only have these shares secured the current position of the club, but they are continuing to sell, meaning there is a bright future for the Castleblaney venue.
Conor McKenna, Head Professional at Concra Wood is the man behind the idea and he said, “Hosting this event means we are just one step away from hosting an Irish Open, not bad in our first ten years! In addition to the €180k prize fund we also have The Christy O’Connor Jnr Irish Open Trophy on offer for the top Irish golfer in the event. I’d like to thank the Board of Management and Board of Directors as well as the committees here at Concra who have helped get this event in place and in order and I can’t speak highly enough of their commitment.”
The Monaghan Irish Challenge is set to be a fantastic event. We here at IGM are playing a supporting role and we encourage everyone to get to Concra Wood in October and see the next generation of Tour professionals in action.