Monday, 12 August 2019
Calum Hill   (European Tour)
Calum Hill (European Tour)

Calum Hill, who triumphed at Galgorm Castle Golf Club in 2018, will return to the scene of his maiden professional victory when he tees it up in the ISPS HANDA World Invitational Men | Women, Presented by Modest! Golf Management, the innovative tournament which sees men and women play on the same golf courses, at the same time, for equal prize money.

The Scotsman joins local hopefuls Cormac Sharvin and Michael Hoey, alongside a host of stars from the women’s game, for the 72-hole stroke play tournament, which gets under way at Galgorm Castle and Massereene Golf Club from August 15-18.

Hill returns to a venue which harbors happy memories for the Kirkcaldy native in a rich vein of form. In addition to a stand-out performance at the Scottish Open on the European Tour in July, where he finished as the joint top home player, the 23-year-old has secured two European Challenge Tour victories in his last three starts, at the Euram Bank Open in Austria and the Made in Denmark Challenge – Presented by FREJA.

Two sets of twins confirmed in the field is just one of several emerging storylines from the inclusive and innovative event, with 18-year-old Danes Rasmus and Nicolai Højgaard and local double act Leona and Lisa Maguire set to do battle in their respective events.

Former World Amateur Number One Leona Maguire, who competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will be going in search of her first professional title on home soil, alongside twin sister Lisa, who also enjoyed an acclaimed amateur career, winning the Irish Close Girls Championship at the age of just 13.

The Maguire twins are just two of a host of local players preparing for the Northern Irish showpiece, which takes place just a month after the hugely successful return of The Open Championship to Royal Portrush. Sharvin, who has recorded seven top 20 finishes in his last eight starts, five-time European Tour winner Hoey and LPGA star Stephanie Meadow are all set to draw substantial home support at what is traditionally regarded as one of the best-attended events on the Challenge Tour International Schedule.

With the two tournaments running concurrently, fans can expect plenty of drama down the stretch with the two champions set to be crowned within moments of each other.

England's Charley Hull has confirmed she will tee up her first professional start in Northern Ireland. The 23-year-old is a winner on both the LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour, and has represented Europe in three consecutive Solheim Cups, becoming the youngest ever player to compete in the trans-Atlantic contest at the age of just 17.  

Ladies European Tour winner Meghan MacLaren, who recently embarked on a frank discussion about the state of women’s golf with Edoardo Molinari, has also confirmed her attendance at the ground-breaking event, following her standout performance at the Jordan Mixed Open presented by Ayla. She will be joined in the women’s field by Major Champion and 2019 Solheim Cup Captain Catriona Matthew, who will announce her team for the biennial match-up at Gleneagles Resort just days before heading to Northern Ireland, a country where she has achieved considerable past success.

Brendan Lawlor, who captured the inaugural EDGA Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in July, is also set to compete, with a star-studded line-up, including Niall Horan, Jockey AP McCoy and critically-acclaimed actor and keen golfer James Nesbitt set to compete in the Pro-Am.

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