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Foley Seeks Historic Provincial Slam at East of Ireland

Foley Seeks Historic Provincial Slam at East of Ireland

FoleyHugh Foley, a passionate aficionado of golf history, is on the brink of making his own mark this weekend. He aims to become the first golfer to complete the provincial “grand slam” with a victory in the East of Ireland Championship at County Louth.

None of the legendary players have ever clinched all four of Ireland’s premier amateur titles—North, South, East, and West. However, Foley has a chance to rewrite history at Baltray as he competes in one of the most competitive fields in recent years for the Kingspan-sponsored 72-hole classic.

Golf great Joe Carr won the East and West titles 12 times each and the South three times but never secured the North, often due to scheduling conflicts with The Open Championship, which he frequently participated in from 1951 to 1971.

Eight players have claimed three of the four titles, yet none managed a clean sweep. Carr, Barry Reddan, and Mark Gannon never won the North. David Long missed out on the East, Darren Clarke couldn’t win in the West, and Arthur Pierse and Garth McGimpsey fell short in the South.

Foley’s determination is evident as the East of Ireland begins today with two stroke play qualifying rounds. “It would be fantastic,” said the 27-year-old Dubliner, who won the West in 2021 and the North and South in 2022, along with the Irish Close in 2020. “I have a deep interest in golf history, and completing this set would be amazing. But, as we know, talking won’t achieve it. You have to go out and earn it.”

Referencing Mike Tyson, Foley added, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. Hopefully, Baltray doesn’t punch me in the face this time.”

Returning to Baltray for the first time since 2019, Foley feels he has grown as a player. His best finish previously was a tie for 23rd in 2019. Opting to skip the clashing Scottish Amateur Open, he focuses on competing against top-ranked Irish players like Max Kennedy, Matt McClean, and Caolan Rafferty.

Kennedy, fresh from the University of Louisville, McClean, winner of the Flogas Irish Amateur Open, and Rafferty, a runner-up for the last two years, promise tough competition. Rafferty, who has finished in the top three several times, hopes this year is his turn for victory.

The strong field also includes West of Ireland champion Keith Egan, Ulster Strokeplay champion Adam Buchanan, Luke O’Neill, Jack Hearn, TJ Ford, Peter O’Keeffe, Quentin Carew, Joshua Hill, David Shiel, and Co Louth’s Gavin Tiernan. Past winners Colm Campbell and Paul O’Hanlon will also compete.

Foley’s recent performances, finishing fifth in the Irish Amateur Open and tenth in the Brabazon Trophy, have boosted his confidence. “My performances in the East haven’t been great, but I just wasn’t good enough back then,” he reflected. “I love the course and the greens at Baltray. If you play well, you’ll make a lot of birdies. The forecast looks good, so the scoring might be low.”

The 132-player field will play 18 holes on Saturday and Sunday, with the top 42 and ties advancing to the final two rounds on Bank Holiday Monday.

With history on the line, all eyes will be on Foley as he aims to achieve what no golfer has done before—complete the provincial grand slam.

East of Ireland Amateur Open Championship, sponsored by Kingspan, County Louth GC

Tee Times:


1st tee/10th tee

7:30/12:30 Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock), Evan Farrell (Co Louth), Eoin O’Carroll (St Anne’s)

7:41/12:41 TJ Ford (Co Sligo), Keith Egan (Carton House), Robbie Cannon (Balbriggan)

7:52/12:52 Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk), Luke O’Neill (Connemara), Gavin O’Neill (Malahide)

8:03/1:03 Jack Hearn (Tramore), Hugh Foley (Royal Dublin), Gavin Tiernan (Co Louth)

8:14/1:14 Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas), Mark Cadden (Roganstown), Joe O’Neill (Berehaven)

8:25/1:25 Edward Reed (Royal Birkdale), Simon Walker (Roscommon), Lucas McKeen (Co Louth)

8:36/1:36 Dylan Keating (Seapoint), Stephen Grant (Birr), Jake Foley (Elm Park)

8:47/1:47 Joshua Hill (Galgorm Castle), Jonathan Keane (Lahinch), Paul Coughlan (Castleknock)

8:58/1:58 Matthew McClean (Malone), Mark Doogue (Castleknock), Darragh Flynn (Carton House)

9:09/2:09 David Kitt (Athenry), Ruairi O’Connor (Co Sligo), Tom Cafferky (Ballinasloe)

9:20/2:20 Matthew Grehan (Tullamore), Jake Whelan (Grange), Charlie Denvir (Elm Park)

10th tee/1st tee

7:30/12:30 Aidan Dooley (Carton House), Jack McDonnell (Royal Dublin), Eoin Murphy (Dundalk)

7:41/12:41 Stephen Walsh (Baltusrol, USA), Paul O’Hanlon (Carton House), Jonathon Keith (Inverness)

7:52/12:52 Gary Collins (Rosslare), Thomas Abom (Edmondstown), Max Kennedy (Royal Dublin)

8:03/1:03 Liam Abom (Edmondstown), Donal O’Reilly (Farnham Estate), David Lally (Blainroe)

8:14/1:14 David Shiel (Enniscrone), Morgan Cain (Cork), Kevin LeBlanc (The Island)

8:25/1:25 Paraic McGrath (Galway Bay), Calum Ward (Carton House), Quentin Carew (Castleknock)

8:36/1:36 David Howard (Fota Island), David Keenaghan (Mullingar), David Reddan (Nenagh)

8:47/1:47 Charlie Cooley (Belvoir Park), Darren McCormack (Corrstown), Adam Smith (Mullingar)

8:58/1:58 Mark Feenan (Mourne), Edward Rowe (Belvoir Park), Dwayne Mallon (Dungannon)

9:09/2:09 Lewis Gowdy (Bangor), Matthew Giles (Greenore), Ben Phipps (USA)

9:20/2:20 Colin Woodroofe (Dun Laoghaire, James Stenson (The Island), Gerard Dunne (Co Louth)

1st tee/10th tee

12:30/7:30 Shea Dorman (Bangor), John Cleary (Elm Park), Shane McDermott (Slieve Russell)

12:41/7:41 Eoin Rogers (Ardee), Eoin Sullivan (Portmarnock), Jack Blake (The Island)

12:52/7:52 Jordan Hood (Galgorm Castle), Craig Kelly (Grange Castle), Shane O’Neill (Malahide)

1:03/8:03 Conor Hickey (Dooks), Adam Buchanan (Royal Portrush), Dean O’Riordan (Fermoy)

1:14/8:14 Ryan McNelis (Fintona), Aaron Marshall (Lisburn), Simon Ward (Belvoir Park)

1:25/8:25 Sean McAufield (Ardee), Jordan Boles (Charleville), Seán McLoughlin (Co Sligo)

1:36/8:36 Rory McConnell (Belvoir Park), Mark Shanahan (Rosslare), Brian Doran (Millicent)

1:47/8:47 Ian O’Connell (Castleknock), Jack Phipps (Ardee), Marc McKinstry (Cairndhu)

1:58/8:58 Oscar Murphy (Royal Portrush), Gareth Bohill (Co Louth), Ian Lynch (Rosslare)

2:09/9:09 Jamie Butler (Naas), Lee O’Meara (Tullamore), Darcy Hogg (Belvoir Park)

2:20/9:20 Shane Gannon (YBrig, SUI), Seamus Cullen (Slieve Russell), Adam Doran (Co Louth)

10th tee/1st tee

12:30/7:30 James Temple (Portmarnock), Ciaran Dunphy (Killeen Castle), Evan Monaghan (Tullamore);
12:41/7:41 Richard Knightly (Royal Dublin), Cian O’Connor (Roscommon), Allan Kiernan (Forrest Little);
12:52/7:52 Kevin Robinson (Castlewarden), Daniel Werner (Nilsson Oslo, NOR), David Foy (Laytown & Bettystown);
1:03/8:03 Mark Mullen (Rosslare), Robert Walsh (Douglas), Sean Murphy (Grange);
1:14/8:14 Adam Cromwell (Co Armagh), Ross McCormack (Palmerstown House Estate), Luke Kelly (Dunfanaghy);
1:25/8:25 Harley Phipps (Co Louth), Adam Fahey (Portmarnock), Samuel Gammell (Naas);
1:36/8:36 Harry Gillivan (Portmarnock), Cian Harkin (Letterkenny), Theodor M Bjørge (Aalesund Golf, NOR);
1:47/8:47 Jason Law (East Cork), Marcus Goosen (Sunnfjord, NOR), Fridtjof Farhang (Oslo, NOR);
1:58/8:58 Stephen Healy (Royal Dublin), Gordon Sillett (Ballykisteen), Sean Reddy (Douglas);
2:09/9:09 Mikkel Bergum Johansen (Drøbak GK, NOR), Sean Cooper (Enniscorthy), Seán Desmond (Monkstown);
2:20/9:20 Cornelius Farhang (Oslo GC, NOR), Mark Gazi (Tralee), Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint).

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