Gareth Shaw, far right, shows off his swing to Christopher Brooke of Galgorm Castle and Arlene Foster, Northern Ireland's Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment ()
A powerful alliance of international, national and regional partners, announced at Galgorm Castle Golf Club yesterday, will give the Northern Ireland Open Challenge Presented by Clannagh and XJET an ambitious platform to host Ireland and Europe’s next generation of star golfers.
Clannah Natural Energy, a local oil and energy company, and XJET, one of the USA’s leading private aviation companies, were announced as title sponsors of the €170,000 event, which will be staged at the glorious Galgorm Castle in Ballymena from August 29 – September 1.
Susan Morrice, founder of Clannah Natural Energy, said: “We are delighted that Clannah and XJET are participating in the Challenge Tour event at Galgorm in special honour of my father, Eric, and uncle, Tom Morrice, who both loved the game of golf.”
Morrice’s cousin, Josh Stewart, is the brainchild behind XJET, the number one private aviation company in the United States.
The Northern Ireland Challenge Open Presented by Clannagh and XJET is further bolstered by significant support from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Ballymena Borough Council, Tourism Ireland, Ulster Bank, Costcutter, Blackstar Sports and BS Holding, while countless local suppliers will also support the event.
Such an overwhelming level of support is music to the ears of Arlene Foster, Northern Ireland’s Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment.
She said: “Galgorm Castle is a superb course and offers the ideal setting for the Northern Ireland Open Challenge. Not only will it be a great event for spectators from near and far. It will also provide opportunities for the next generation of players to follow in the footsteps of our local golf superstars.
“Following the tremendous success of the Irish Open last year, the tournament is a great boost to the drive to build on the growing interest in our golf product which has been generated by the success of our home-grown players including Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell and, of course, tournament ambassador, Michael Hoey.”
Christopher Brooke, Managing Director of Galgorm Castle, said: “This will be another excellent opportunity to witness some of the stars of the fairways as they compete in the €170,000 tournament. None of this would have been possible without the help and support of partners and sponsors all of which can be found on the event website www.niopen.co.uk
“We look forward to what promises to be another great summer of Irish golf and of course welcoming all to the Northern Ireland Open Challenge 2013 at the end of August.”