Ireland’s premier boys’ event takes place at Castletroy GC on 27/06/2017 as 144 players strive to win the Irish Boys Amateur Open.
Mark Power was victorious at Castle in 2016, winning by six shots, and the Kilkenny international is bidding to win back-to-back championships. Should he retain his title, Power will be keeping company with Greystones’ Paul Dunne, who completed a unique double at Bangor in 2009. Dunne is the only two-time champion in the history of the Irish Boys, which dates back to 1983. Previous winners include Damien McGrane (1988), Michael Hoey (1997) and Rory McIlroy (2004).
Since the championship became an open event in 2012, there have been two international winners. England’s Bradley Moore won at Thurles in 2014 and Adrian Pendaries from France took the title at Tuam the following year. Eight visiting countries are represented in 2017: England (11), France (5), Turkey (4), Germany (3), Iceland (2), Netherlands (1), Portugal (1) and Slovakia (1).
Surviving the 54-hole cut will be the immediate goal for every player in the field. The top 50 and ties progress to the final day. If Power recaptures his 2016 form, he will be hard to catch but with Ireland teammates Reece Black (Hilton Templepatrick); John Brady (Rosslare); Jack Hearn (Tramore); Robert Moran (Castle) and Cameron Raymond (Newlands) in the field, potential winners abound.
Started in 1983, when Jim Carvill of Warrenpoint captured the inaugural event at Curragh Golf Club, the Irish Boys has produced its fair share of quality golfers. Names such as Ken Kearney, Damien McGrane, David Higgins, Michael Hoey, and Rory McIlroy have been added to the trophy since then.