2013 Winner - Rory McNamara (Headfort) at Co. Sligo Golf Club
(For Immediate Publication)
2014 West of Ireland Amateur Open Championship
The West of Ireland Amateur Open Championship Committee is very pleased to confirm that the Championship to be staged at the famed links of Rosses Point at County Sligo Golf Club over the Easter weekend from April 16. It shall once again be sponsored by the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Ballincar, Sligo.
The Championship Committee are also pleased to confirm that the inaugural West of Ireland ‘Qualifier’ staged in 2013 is here to stay. The 2014 edition shall see some upgrading of Tournament Conditions when it is competed for on Wednesday April 16th 2014. The principal changes which the Committee are confident will be well received by Competitors are as follows:
The number of automatic Qualification places from the ‘Qualifier’ shall be at least 6, having been 3 in 2013;
In addition, should any Players withdraw who had been allocated a place in the ‘Championship’ Field, then these vacancies shall not be filled from a Reserve List in handicap order as in the past, but from the Players finishing in 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, etc in the Qualifier.
Traditionally three to five Players withdraw annually prior to the ‘Championship’ for various personal reasons, so its quite likely that more Players than the six prescribed in the conditions shall get through to Good Friday’s opening Round. The competition for entry places for the 2014 ‘Qualifier’ may be much greater than in 2013;
The West of Ireland Amateur Open Championship can still boast to be the only Championship which offers Past Champions an exemption, so long as they are within 1.0 strokes of the handicap cut off mark for the Championship, however this exemption into the ‘Championship’ Rounds has been removed. Past Winners exemption shall now only be effective for the ‘Qualifier’ and again they must be within 1.0 strokes of the handicap cut off mark for the ‘Qualifier’;
Finally, in recognition of the achievement of some Junior Golfers in both the Championship and the Qualifier in 2013 the Committee have introduced an Exemption Clause granting up to three Connacht based U18 Players who are within 1.0 strokes of the cut off handicap mark entry into the ‘Qualifier’ should they fail to get under the handicap cut off mark for the ‘Qualifier’ itself;
Regarding the Championship itself the significant points to note for 2014 are that the Championship Committee have approved a move to 11min Timesheet Intervals. These 11min timesheet intervals were very successful for Union Championships in 2013 and the very positive effect it had on Pace of Play;
The confirmed number of starting berths for the 2014 Championship on Good Friday, inclusive of Players coming through the ‘Qualifier’ and any applicable exemptions in accordance with the Tournament Conditions shall be 126;
Once again as the opener to Senior Championship season in Ireland a large entry is anticipated for both the Qualifier and Championship and given the level of interest from overseas already we can be sure to see some of the UK’s top talent this Easter once again.
Online Entry for the events shall be available from February 10 and Entries Close on Thursday March 20th at 17.00hrs.
January 30, 2014.