NI Open goes coastal as golfers get ready to tee off at Cairndhu

Shaun Oneill

Reporter:

Shaun Oneill

Email:

sport@ballymenaguardian.co.uk

GOLFERS at this year’s Northern Ireland Open will be teeing off at one of Mid and East Antrim’s most scenic venues, Cairndhu Golf Club.

The coastal headland course on the Antrim Coast Road near Larne will offer up some of the most breath-taking views NI has to offer.

For over a decade the NI Open has been played at Galgorm where this year’s ISPS HANDA World Invitational will take place from 28 July – 1 August.

This year the NI Open moves to Cairndhu where men and women professionals will have the chance to win a place at the ISPS HANDA World Invitational through this qualifying event.

The 36-hole strokeplay event on June 14-15 will see professionals compete for a £10,000 prize fund as a Clutch Pro Tour event and also have the chance to compete alongside European Tour, LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour (LET) players.

The NI Open is a great opportunity for professionals across the island of Ireland and the UK to not only compete in an established event, but also progress to a global event like the ISPS HANDA World Invitational that will be broadcast around the world.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Peter Johnston said: “I am delighted that the excellent facilities at Cairndhu will play host to some of the game’s leading professionals for the NI Open, which will further showcase Mid and East Antrim, and all that our borough has to offer.

“The last 12 months have been challenging for us all so it is very positive news that we can look forward to brighter days ahead, with the return of such a significant sporting event and the ISPS HANDA World Invitational at Galgorm this summer.

“It is a very welcome development to see the NI Open expand across the borough so that we can increase the reach, benefits and exposure that the event affords us in terms of supporting our local tourism industry and wider economy, whilst also supporting the local sporting fraternity.

“Council is delighted to work closely with the event organisers, and we remain very hopeful that the restrictions will be sufficiently relaxed to allow spectators and visitors to enjoy the tournaments when the time comes.”

Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Andrew Wilson is a keen golf fan and says the course is certainly up to the challenge: “It’s really exciting to see such a prestigious event broaden its horizons across our borough to truly showcase what we have to offer here.

“Having played the course in the past, I can testify that it has some of the best views in Northern Ireland and the players will not only enjoy the world renowned hospitality but two days of amazing golf. Events like this aren’t only great for the club, but locals can really get on board and be proud of what the area has to offer, it will help drive footfall and raise the profile of what a stunning location Cairndhu and Antrim really is.”

The NI Open will follow government guidelines and further details on spectators will be announced in due course.

David Johnston, Cairndhu Club Captain, added: "I am absolutely delighted to welcome the NI Open as this year’s qualifying event for the ISPS HANDA World Invitational to Cairndhu Golf Club, and to play a part in driving the game forward with an event that provides equality and inclusivity. I hope in hosting the NI Open, we will have the opportunity to showcase our course, the stunning scenery and our world-famous hospitality."

For full details on how to enter go to W: https://www.clutchprotour.co.uk

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