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"Radisson Blu Hotel" West of Ireland Championship Draw 2011
19th April 2011

The West of Ireland Championship has a special place on the Irish Golfing Calendar given its task of opening the competitive senior amateur golf season annually at Easter over the famous links of County Sligo Golf Club at Rosses Point.

From April 22 - 26 this year the competitors shall take to the fairways to try and emulate the achievements of the titans of the modern Irish professional game, Messrs. Harrington, McIlroy, & Lowry and many other great players who have won the coveted 'West of Ireland Trophy'.

2010 Winner Rory Leonard (Banbridge) may have been unaware of the season he would have ahead of him after capturing his maiden Senior Championship win having lost four previous Senior Championship Finals, including the West in the late 90's. Leonard was without doubt one if not the leading Irish Amateur of the 2010 season and it came as no great surprise that he made his Senior International debut in 2010 on the back of his West victory and I have no doubt is firmly focused on a successful defence.

The popularity of the event overseas is highlighted by yet again a significant International entry, an Irishman who lives in the US, and a pair returning Irish emigrants from Australia. The Championship Committee were expecting a larger UK entry given that the course plays host the Home Internationals in August but nevertheless with a handicap cut mark of 0.4 quality golf is assured.

The Irish challenge will no doubt come from players like Paul Cutler (Portstewart), Alan Dunbar (Rathmore), Wayne Telford (Rathmore), Luke Lennox (Moyola Park), Pat Murray (Limerick) and other younger current Irish Panellists such as and Paul Dunne (Greystones), Dermot McElroy (Ballymena), Reeve Whitson (Mourne) and Jeff Hopkins (Skerries) to name but a few.

Connacht too will hope to challenge for the title with players of the calibre of Kelan McDonagh (Athlone/NUIM) 2010 Mullingar Scratch Cup Winner & 2010 South of Ireland Runner-up, Michael Durcan, Gary McDermott & Barry Anderson (all Co. Sligo), Eddie McCormack (Galway) who made his Irish Senior Debut in 2010 and was Runner-up in last year's Championship and Joe Lyons (Galway) winner of the West in 2007.

County Louth's Barry Reddan plays again this year availing of the Championship's 'Past Winners' exemption and will strike a blow or two for the older brigade. Reddan shall be joined by other Past Winners of the Championship - Mark Ryan (Grange), Joe Lyons (Galway) and Rory Leonard (Banbridge) last year.

The highest ever number of entries received for the West, 215, shows that the Championship's popularity is on the rise and with players of the stature of McIlroy, Harrington and Lowry frequently mentioning in press conferences around the globe of days spent at Easter at the "West" this Tournament now in its 89

The Championship Draw and all other Championship information is available on the Connacht Branch, GUI website at

th year will be every bit as good and memorable as the eighty-eight which have gone before it. www.gui.ie/connacht/


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