Castle’s Robert Moran and Lahinch’s Aideen Walsh. Pic: Golffile.
The ISPS Handa World Invitational takes place this week at Galgorm Castle and Massereene from July 28th to August 1st.
A co-sanctioned event between the European Tour, Ladies European Tour and the LPGA Tour, 144 men and 144 women will compete in the tournament.
Three of those players qualified, having come through Golf Ireland’s Ulster Stroke Play at Royal County Down last month. The event was the first to take place since Golf Ireland was formed and fittingly saw both men and women compete on the World famous links.
Castle’s Robert Moran and Lahinch’s Aideen Walsh both booked their places in this week’s event having won the Men’s and Women’s titles. The duo will be joined by Hermitage’s Rowan Lester, who lost to Moran in a play-off.
Speaking ahead of this week’s event, Moran said he’s pretty relaxed about what awaits.
“I’m pretty laid back with things like this. It’s going to be pretty cool. I’m usually pretty good at playing things down, so I hope that’s an advantage. I reckon when I get up there, it’ll be a lot cooler than I expected."
The event at Royal County Down was played behind closed doors but Moran is delighted to have friends and family support him this week.
“A couple of friends and cousins are playing to go. I’ve a very supportive family, and they’ll come up and make a holiday of it," he said.
“Hopefully I hit my first tee shot well and I can work from there. If I play well anything can happen really. You never know with golf.”
Walsh is currently on her summer holidays from her job as a primary school teacher. She can't wait to tee it up with some of the stars of the game.
“It’s all a bit mad," she admitted.
"When I entered the Ulster Strokeplay I didn’t even know a chance to play this week was on offer for the winner. It didn’t even enter my mind until after I won. It’s a brilliant opportunity.
“I am an amateur so there are very few expectations. I just want to enjoy the opportunity as much as I can, soak it in and really enjoy it."
The Lahinch golfer won last weekend’s Leinster Women’s Championship at Mullingar GC and she’s going into this week’s event high in confidence.
“I’m happy with my game. I’m going to go up, enjoy it, and do my best.”
Tickets are still on sale for the ISPS Handa World Invitational.