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PHOTO: Campbell holes the winning putt at Royal Dublin in 2016. Courtesy of Golffile.
The celebrated links of Royal County Down will play host to a world-class field for the Flogas Irish Amateur Open Championship, which runs from 11-14 May.
Warrenpoint's Colm Campbell will defend the title at his neighbouring club and this year, Ireland's elite will have to contend with some of the world's best. American Stewart Hagestad, winner of the low amateur prize at the 2017 Masters Tournament, is among the 144-man field.
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With 15 different countries represented, this year's Irish Amateur is another truly international event. Players from Australia, South Africa and the United States will travel to Royal County Down, which hosted the 2007 Walker Cup and the European Tour's Irish Open in 2015.
Campbell is among seven current Ireland internationals in the field. Tramore's Robin Dawson, Knock's Colin Fairweather, Whitehead's John Ross Galbraith, Castle's Alex Gleeson, Conor O'Rourke from Naas and Massereeene's Tiarnan McLarnon are also vying for the title. Because of college commitments at Maynooth University, Tullamore's Stuart Grehan is unable to compete.
World number seven Scott Gregory, winner of The Amateur Championship in 2016, is among 33 players travelling from England. Scotland's Connor Syme, currently ranked 10th in the world, was tied seventh at last year's Irish Amateur where Campbell prevailed on 16 under par. The pride of Warrenpoint carded a final round 70 to beat Jack Hume by one shot in a thrilling final at The Royal Dublin. Defending his title at Royal County Down, he returns to familiar terrain."Obviously with it being so close to home, it's nearly as if I'm playing it in my back garden," said Campbell, looking ahead to this year's Championship. "Preparation is going to be a lot easier coming up to the start of the event. I'm going to try and get over as much as I can and use that to my advantage as much as possible," said Campbell. On his way to victory, Campbell posted a stunning round of 66 on the penultimate day. Similar results at Royal County Down will keep his title defence on track. "It's always going to be very difficult going back as defending champion," Campbell admitted. "I'm just going to have to put that to the back of my mind as much as possible and try and do as best I can. If I play well, hopefully I'll be knocking on the door again come the final round." A Championship which has witnessed victories by the greatest names in Irish amateur golf during its 125-year history, the Flogas Irish Amateur Open Championship returns to Royal County Down for the first time since 1959. Boasting a stellar international field and with a roll of honour that includes Major champions such as Padraig Harrington and South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen, the Flogas Irish Amateur Open is Ireland's blue riband event.Play commences on Thursday, 11 May with the top 50 and ties progressing to the final round on Sunday, 15 May following a 54-hole cut. The draw for the Championship will be published on Thursday, 4 May.
Electric news for GUI member clubs from Flogas
Last year the Golfing Union of Ireland welcomed Flogas Ireland on board as an official sponsor and 2016 marked the first year of their title sponsorship of the Flogas Irish Amateur Open Championship.
As part of this sponsorship, Flogas made a commitment to provide preferential energy rates for all GUI Clubs with clubs across the island making the switch for gas supply.
Flogas is now offering electricity on a commercial basis in the Republic of Ireland, with special rates for the GUI's Affiliated Clubs. The GUI's research has shown that there is potential for significant savings of up to 45% on electricity costs. Many clubs are already customers of Flogas for LPG and natural gas.
The GUI National HQ has been a customer of Flogas for the past two years and have found that Flogas deliver low prices, excellent customer service and billing accuracy. Flogas have also achieved very high customer satisfaction ratings in the recent Consumer Survey Report from the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER).
For more information, contact Karen Canavan from Flogas on +353 (0)41 9815800. You can also e-mail Karen on email@example.com with the name of your club in the subject line.