Portmarnock set to host European Challenge Tour in May

by Stephen Findlater

Portmarnock will play host to the European Challenge Tour as the Irish leg of the competition is set to be played over a links course for the first time in the event’s history from May 27-29, 2021.  

Conor Russell, Director of Golf at Portmarnock Links, said the announcement is a huge honour for the venue: “The team here at Portmarnock Links are delighted to welcome the Irish Challenge to our magnificent Links.  

“The course will represent a wonderful challenge for the players and will give our own home-grown talent an opportunity to shine on the bigger stage.  

“We have supported young Irish professionals through our Winter Series and Pro-Ams for many years and, who knows, this could be just the time to bring home an Irish winner. 

“We are looking forward, once again, to working with the Tour and developing our relations for the future.” 

Set in the grounds of the old Jameson Estate St Marnock’s, with breath-taking views over the famous five-mile Velvet Strand, Portmarnock regularly features in lists of Ireland’s best golf courses.  

The Championship course was designed by two-time Masters Champion and former World Number One Bernhard Langer and traverses the famous north Dublin dunes.   

Jamie Hodges, Head of Challenge Tour, said: “We are incredibly excited to be taking the Irish Challenge to Portmarnock Links in May.  

“We have never hosted an Irish event on a true links course before and I know the players will relish the opportunity to compete on the Championship Course.  

“I must extend our thanks to everyone at Portmarnock Links and the local authorities in County Dublin for helping us to make this happen.” 

The visit to County Dublin forms part of the Challenge Tour’s Road to Mallorca International Schedule, which comprises 25 tournaments in 15 countries across the world.  

It begins with a three-week stretch in South Africa before returning to Europe for events in the Czech Republic and Spain, then the trip to Ireland for the Irish Challenge.  

The top 20 players on the Road to Mallorca Rankings at the conclusion of the Challenge Tour Grand Final at T-Golf & Country Club, Mallorca, will earn full playing privileges on the European Tour in 2022.  

The last player from the island of Ireland to graduate from the Challenge Tour was Dublin-based Cormac Sharvin who was rewarded for a consistent season with promotion in 2019.  

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