BALLYLIFFIN Golf Club is understood to have tabled an official bid to host the Irish Open Championship in 2019, the “Journal” can reveal.
The Inishowen club, which boasts two superb links courses, is widely considered to be one of the golfing gems of the north-west region.
The “Journal” understands that Ballyliffin officials have been actively involved in meetings with the European Tour following the completion of last weekend’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Championship, won by Rory McIlroy, at the K. Club in Co. Kildare.
Indeed, the move does not come as a major surprise given the fact that the Open Championship venue for 2019 is at Royal Portrush which is in close proximity to the Donegal venue.
It’s believed the Donegal club has already been involved in negotiations with interested parties located in the Derry area and the success of those meetings have been relayed to members of the European Tour during last weekend’s private meeting.
Well-informed sources have confirmed that the Ballyliffin club would be capable and confident of hosting the Irish Open in three years time, one week before the Open Championship at the Co. Antrim venue.
“I think it’s a bold move by the Donegal club, but I can totally understand the reasoning behind it,” said our source. “With the top golfers from all over the world expected to compete in The Open Championship at Portrush, staging the Irish Open at Ballyliffin would, I believe, prove to be the perfect warm-up location for those playing at Portrush.
“And, if Ballyliffin did get the green light, then I think the number of top American players prepared to travel over early would prove to be a sensational coup for golf in both Derry and Donegal,” he added.
“From what I’ve heard, it’s still early days yet but I am aware that the European Tour are taking the proposal seriously,” he concluded.
With two top quality courses at its disposal, the tough Glashedy Links would be expected to host the Irish Championship.
STEPHEN COMES TO THE FORE
Meanwhile, on the home front at Ballyliffin last weekend, Stephen McLaughlin (F), more associated with soccer and Gaelic football, appears to have successfully turned his attentions to golf, having recorded his maiden win in the McGrory’s of Culdaff Open Stableford last Saturday.
The 19 handicapper, a new member at the club, returned the top score of 43 points to win by three.
Full results were - McGrory’s of Culdaff Open - May 21st - 1, Stephen McLaughlin (F) (19) 43 points; 2, Aaron Jenkins (10) 40; 3, break of tie, Denis McLaughlin (12) 39; 4, Daniel G. McGonigle (23) 39; gross, Brendan Devlin (1) 34.
The C.S.S. was 71.
Last Sunday’s Confined Stableford was played in superb conditions and Declan McCarron, who has been quiet of late, posted a fine 41 points to take top honours.
Full results were - Confined Stableford, Sunday, May 22nd - 1, Declan McCarron (14) 41 points; 2, Raymond O’Donnell (11) 39; 3, break of tie, Denis McElhinney (11) 37; 4, Brian Ferry (10) 37; gross, Paul Doherty (C) (4) 33.
The C.S.S. was 74.
Results from Wednesday Society, May 18th - 1, break of tie, Michael Doherty (C) 36 points; 2, Don McGonigle 36; 3, Paul Cox, 35.
“Twos,” Michael Butter.
Ladies competition - V.B. Waltz over 18 holes, May 22nd - 1, Bernie Wilson, Marlene O’Kane, Lynda O’Doherty, 72 points; 2, Molly McCloskey, Berige Doherty, Aine McElhinney, 70 pts.
Thursday, May 19th - Ladies Confined Stableford over nine holes - 1, Ruth McGartoll, 18 points; 2, Marian Theseira, 17.
Atlantic Cup, May 17th - 18 holes - 1, Gertie Monagle, 32 points; 2, Joan Doherty, 29.
The C.S.S. was 75.
Forthcoming events - tonight, Confined Scramble from 5.00 p.m.; tomorrow (Sat.), May 28th - White Oaks Classic on the Old Links (visitors, E40);, Sunday, May 29th, confined stableford on Glashedy Links.
Entries are now being taken for the Great North Links Challenge in October.
ARGYLE BAR GOLF SOCIETY
Cathal O’Donnell claimed top honours in the recent Argyle Bar Golf Society outing to Letterkenny.
Cathal’s score of 35 points gave him a two points cushion over the chasing pack.
Full results were - 1, Cathal O’Donnell, 35 poihnts; 2, break of tie, Gerry Harkin, 33; 3, Paul Godfrey, 33; back nine, J. P. McAllister on 19.
Thanks to Ray Keys Plumbing for his sponsorship of the event.
Next outing, Sunday, June 12th at Ballybofey & Stranorlar Golf Club where the first tee booked for 11.30 a.m.
STEELSTOWN BRIAN OGS TEAM GOLF CLASSIC
Steelstown Brian Ogs GAC will stage its annual Team Golf Classic at City of Derry this Sunday, May 29th.
This is one of the local club’s major fundraisers and the event is open to all GUI members.
There will also be a special prizes for the winning Golf Society team and the winning ladies team.
Bookings or further information may be had by contacting Anthony Breslin on 07753662729