GOLF: Dunfanaghy Pro-Am promises true links test

The Dunfanaghy links.
The Dunfanaghy links.

Links specialist, David Higgins, will defend the 36-hole Dunfanaghy Pro-Am title this weekend at the Co. Donegal venue.

By his own high standards, David has made a relatively quiet start to the season. The 45-year-old is currently lying eighth in the order of merit and has yet to win an event, however, a return to traditional links could provide the spark he needs. Last year, the players battled some testing conditions with the Waterville golfer posting rounds of 65/67 to beat Mark Staunton (Delgany GC) by a single shot.

Given the recent spell of relatively calm and dry weather, the Harry Vardon designed course is likely to pose a slightly different test this year.

Club captain Peter Sullivan said; “We have had some rain, but it has been fine most of the week so it probably will be very good conditions but it won’t be as burnt out as you might think.”

This will be the fourth staging of the Pro-Am following it’s return to the PGA in Ireland schedule back in 2015.

“I always felt the community up here could do with it,” said Peter who was one of the driving forces behind bringing the tournament back to life after a hiatus.

“I was in a coffee shop the other day and the owner said they are always very busy during the pro-am weekend. The B&B’s are full and the rental accommodation is booked out. The village is busy as well and this event just adds to it.

“From a club point of view, we make approximately 12 weekends turnover in two days. People come from all over Ireland to play. A lot of the members invite friends to come and play with them and that is what we try to encourage.”

The current top five players on the PGA in Ireland Order of Merit, Colm Moriarty (Glasson Hotel), Michael McGeady (Evolve Golf Coaching), Simon Thornton (Tulfarris Golf Resort), Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge GC) and Joe Dillon (Headfort GC) will all be competing this weekend.