The European Challenge Tour heads to Ireland this week for the Irish Challenge at Portmarnock Links, located in the Irish capital of Dublin, from May 27 – 30. Here are our Three to Watch this week…
Conor Purcell will be playing in just his fourth Challenge Tour event at the Irish Challenge this week and will be hoping to use his local knowledge of the area to full effect with his attachment being Portmarnock Golf Club, the neighbouring course to Portmarnock Links. The Irishman finished in a tie for 15th place in the Range Servant Challenge by Hinton Golf and also experienced more weekend golf in the second tournament of the Swedish Swing, the Dormy Open.
The 23-year-old, who came second in the Irish Amateur Open Championship and the West of Ireland Amateur Open in 2019, will be looking to use his local knowledge and experience of links golf to have a healthy finish in the Irish Challenge this week.
Ricardo Gouveia has improved with each tournament so far on the 2021 Road to Mallorca as he looks for a return to the European Tour. Recently, the Portuguese finished third in the Dormy Open at the Österåkers Golfklubb, finishing behind winner Felix Mory and runner-up Björn Hellgren and will be looking to continue his fine form into the Irish Challenge this week.
The 29-year-old has had a credible career so far, becoming the highest ranked Portuguese player of all time and finishing a commendable 54th place on the Race to Dubai on the European Tour with the high point being a third place finish at the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player. Gouveia was previously crowned Challenge Tour Number One in 2015 and earned a record 251,592 points along the way.
Chase Hanna will be one of five Americans competing in the Irish Challenge this week and will be looking to follow in the footsteps of previous American successes stories on the Challenge Tour. The 26-year-old captured the attention of many after carding his first career hole-in-one in the Dormy Open at the 11th in his second round, before going on to finish in 35th place.
The American had a wonderful finish in the Dimension Data Pro-Am in South Africa after posting a 16 under par total and finished comfortably in third place behind winner Wilco Nienaber and Sweden’s Henric Sturehed.
There are constant glimpses of excellence that shine through with Hanna and if he can keep his consistency level high the American will be one to look out for.