Ireland men in Euro Challenge

​Ireland competing at European Amateur Team Championship in Golf Club Bad Saarow (Faldo Course), Germany from 10-14 July

  • 10 July 2018

PHOTO: Robin Dawson in action - image by Cashman Photography

Ireland hoping to end 10-year wait for European title

The European Amateur Team Championship begins in Germany on Tuesday 10 July and Ireland are hoping for the perfect ending on Saturday.

World number 10 Robin Dawson leads a new-look Ireland team featuring four European debutants and two new caps and he, for one, believes it’s time that Ireland added to their trophy haul.

“I think we’ve a really nice chance of going there and doing well,” said Dawson ahead of the trip to Germany. “It’s a while now since Ireland last won. I keep getting reminded that Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy were on the last Ireland team to win it. I’m kind of fed up listening to that stuff about 10 years ago. Why can’t it be us?”

Dawson has been emboldened since capturing the Flogas Irish Amateur Open at Royal County Down in May and has franked that form with runner-up finishes at The Amateur Championship and the European Individual.

“They’re the best results I’ve had,” says the 23-year-old from Tramore. “Playing good golf and results can be two different things. I feel my game has been there for a while and it’s nice to see it all come together. I’ve done what I wanted to do, and I’m still not finished.”

Even if Dawson maintains his rich form this week it’s no guarantee of success. Ireland require five good cards in both rounds of stroke play qualifying to secure a place in the top eight and after that every man will be needed in the match play stages.

For John Murphy it will be a new experience. The 20-year-old from Kinsale wins his first Ireland cap at the Europeans on the back of a stunning victory at the St Andrews Links Trophy in June.

“I knew I would have to do something special to get on the team,” says Murphy. “I knew I needed to win that (St Andrews Links) to  get on the team. A couple of second place finishes wouldn’t have done it.”

Murphy has made rapid progress in a short period of time.

“When I was 16, I was playing off six,” he recalls. “I’m plus four now. Hopefully I’ll stay on this upward curve and see where it takes me.”

Since moving to the University of Louisville last August, he has seen significant progress.

“I’m able to shape the ball both ways,” he says. “Last year I was playing with one shot. In terms of course management and strategy, I feel I’ve improved a lot.”

Murphy is one of two new caps in the Ireland team along with Jonathan Yates from Naas. Dundalk’s Caolan Rafferty and Rowan Lester from Hermitage have the benefit of playing Home Internationals but they too will be playing at European level for the first time.

“I’m really excited to go over there,” says Murphy reflecting the mood in the Ireland camp. “It’s probably going to be the best tournament I’ll ever play in. I’ve a really good feeling about it. We’re all playing well.”

If success breeds success then Ireland could be the team to follow this week.