Stars line out at Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort for PGA EuroPro Tour PREM Group Irish Masters
|Stephen Hunt and Niall Quinn at Tulfarris|
Stars of Irish football lined out for the PGA EuroPro Tour Prem Group Irish Masters Pro Am at the stunning Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort in Blessington, Co. Wicklow yesterday, (Tuesday, August 27th). Famous faces who took part in the pro am included, former international soccer players, Niall Quinn and Stephen Hunt. A total of 46 teams played in the competition which was played across a morning and afternoon tee time and provided a prelude for the PGA EuroPro Tour Prem Group Irish Masters. The three-day tournament begins today, (Wednesday, August 28th) and concludes on Friday, August 30th.
The pro am commenced with players enjoying a breakfast or brunch bap on arrival at the newly renovated Elk Bar. All players were given a goodie bag, kindly sponsored by Golfnow.ie before heading out to play in either the morning or afternoon shot gun start.
The winning team was led by pro, Alfie Plant from Sundridge Park Golf Club and consisted of Enda McLoughlin, Michelle Tigue and Keith Feehily. They brought in a score of 96. The longest drive was won by Joel Furnell whilst nearest the pin was won by Barry Gibney. All the prizes were sponsored by Titleist.
The title sponsor of the tournament is hospitality giant, PREM Group which owns Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort. This year is the second time for Tulfarris to host the prestigious PGA EuroPro Tour PREM Group Irish Masters which Jim Murphy, CEO of PREM Group says provides an excellent opportunity for the company to promote Tulfarris. A two-hour highlights package of the tournament will be broadcast on Sky Sports and will air in 138 different countries, reaching an incredible 500 million homes. Jim Murphy, CEO of PREM Group said, “I really enjoyed the competition today, the course is looking fantastic and is testament to the hard work of our green keepers and golf staff. We are looking forward to some competitive play and would like to wish all the players and our own pro, Simon Thornton, the very best of luck for the week.”
Associate sponsors of the tournament included Rockshore Apple Cider and Rockshore Irish Lager which was served at a BBQ which ran from the mid afternoon to the early evening. Conlan’s BMW, Naas were also one of the sponsors of the tournament and had several vehicles on display around the course.
Set across three peninsulas the stunning 18-hole championship golf course was designed by celebrated course architect Patrick J. Merrigan. The renowned golf course should present plenty of challenges to competitors, with several holes flanked by the beautiful Blessington Lakes. Since PREM Group purchased Tulfarris over €6 million has been spent on the property with over €1 million being spent on the golf course alone. Improvements on the course include the creation of a new tee box on the 16th while extensive drainage works were completed on the course in order to allow for more winter play and to extend the golfing season. Further improvements include the addition of a brand new contemporary, cedar clad clubhouse which enjoys stunning vistas onto the course and lakes, the renovation of many of the Manor House bedrooms whilst the lobby, bar and restaurant have also been reimagined.
The PREM Group Irish Masters is the penultimate tournament on the PGA EuroPro Tour, which gives the brightest young talents in European golf the chance to earn a place on the European Challenge Tour. This is the only tournament that will be played outside the British Isles this year, and there is more than £50,000 in prize money available to those competing this week. The top five golfers at the end of the season will be awarded a category on the 2020 Challenge Tour.
There have been some classy graduates from the PGA EuroPro Tour in recent years, including Major winners Louis Oosthuizen and Carl Schwartzel, while Nicolas Colsaerts and Ross Fisher have represented Europe in the Ryder Cup after playing on the tour early in their careers.