John Catlin is one of many international players set to return to Ireland for next week’s ISPS HANDA World Invitational Presented by Aviv Clinics at Galgorm and Castlerock (Aug 17-20) and the American is hoping he can tap into some of the form that has brought him previous success on Irish soil.
Catlin is one of the game’s truly international players, having competed and won 10 times around the world, including three wins on the DP World Tour. One of those wins came at the 2020 Irish Open when played at Galgorm. The 32-year-old tends to produce his best golf in Ireland and will be hoping to rediscover more of that Irish magic next week.
“That was a very special week,” recalls Catlin of his Irish Open win at Galgorm. “I’d won at Valderrama a couple of weeks previous and did well the week before in Portugal, so I arrived in Galgorm feeling really good about my game.
“I didn’t know what to expect as I’d never been to Galgorm before. To be honest, right from my practice rounds and staying at the resort, I just fell in love with the place. I like the way the holes are framed, it’s a whole combination of things but the course really suits my eye.”
In 2020 Catlin enjoyed a sensational final day, carding a final round 64 that catapulted him to the top of the standings for a winning total of 10-under-par and his third DP World Tour win. At last year’s Irish Open he finished tied fourth at Mount Juliet, tied 13th in the World Invitational at Galgorm in 2022 and was tied seventh at the same venue the previous year.
“What can I say, I love competing in Ireland. I can’t wait to get back to Galgorm [and Castlerock] for next week’s World Invitational. It’s a week I circle on my calendar for obvious reasons, ever since my Irish Open win there,” added Catlin. “I had a good chance at the World Invitational there in 2021 and last year I was tied second going into the final round but didn’t get it done. I couldn’t chase Ewbo (Ewen Ferguson) down, he was in hot form that week.”
Catlin will tee it up with a host of other great names, including Ryder Cup hopefuls, Scotland’s Robert MacIntrye and Victor Perez from France, while local interest will surely focus on Galgorm’s very own Touring Professional Tom McKibbin, who won the Porsche European Open in June.
The $3million event is tri-sanctioned by the DP World Tour, LPGA and Ladies European Tour (LET) where men and women compete at the same venues and for equal prize money. Leona Maguire is one of the leading lights in the women’s draw, alongside Galgorm Touring Professional Stephanie Meadow, while further local interest is assured with Olivia Mehaffey also in the field.
As for Catlin, he is hoping a return to a happy hunting ground will inspire him once more. “From the moment you come through the gates at Galgorm, you know you arriving at a special place. The course and resort are world class. I have stayed in many great places, but few places compare to Galgorm.”
The action gets underway at Galgorm and Castlerock from August 17-20. For more information and how to buy tickets, please click here.