The Future is Bright
We’ve all been wowed by the recent successes of Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke and other golfers from this island. But have you ever wondered who our future stars are; who we’ll be cheering for at 4am in the morning when a putt rolls in for victory at another major tournament?
We’re happy to say that at the more than 400 courses countrywide, young talent is blossoming. Here are some names to watch out for!
Northern Ireland's amazing recent golf success has continued with Alan Dunbar (22) becoming the British Amateur Champion – a title that eluded all of the aforementioned pros. The Walker Cup player calls Rathmore, Co Antrim, his home club. It’s also the club where Graeme McDowell learnt the game.
Meanwhile Gavin Moynihan (17) from the Island Golf Club picked up the Irish Amateur Open title at Royal Dublin in April, beating Robin Kind (Netherlands), Mike Miller (USA) and Daan Huizing (Netherlands). Moynihan joins major winners Harrington and Louis Oosthuizen on the list of Irish Amateur Open champions.
Another name that you may not have heard of yet – but we’re sure you will in the future – is Kevin Le Blanc (14) from the Island Golf Club. Back in 2009 Le Blanc won the European U12 Championships and this year he won the Irish U15 boys competition.
It’s not just the boys that are doing us proud. Stephanie Meadow (20) whose home course is Royal Portrush in Antrim captured the 2012 Ladies British Open Amateur Championship at Carnoustie in Scotland.
Meanwhile twins Leona and Lisa Maguire (17) continue to take the amateur golf world by storm. Leona is ranked sixth in the world on the Women's Amateur Golf rankings and won the Irish Women's Close Amateur Championship at the County Louth Golf Club for the second time in her career in June. Her sister Lisa won the Spanish Ladies Open Amateur and the European Women's Individual Amateur Championships in 2011.
The future looks bright!