NI Open Challenge launched

Published Wednesday, 20 March 2013
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The Northern Ireland Open Challenge, which will take place at Galgorm Castle Golf Club later this year, has been officially launched by Tourism Minister Arlene Foster.

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The Minister said the return of the European Tour Challenge event after an absence of 10 years was proof that Northern Ireland continues to build on its global reputation as a world class golfing destination.

The tournament, which will be held in Ballymena, Co Antrim on 29 August - 1 September, is expected to attract around 28,500 spectators to the local area.

Minister Foster said: "Galgorm Castle is a superb course and offers the ideal setting for the Northern Ireland Open Challenge. Not only will it be a superb 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."

The DUP MLA added: "We should not underestimate the value of our golf product and its appeal on the international stage.

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"As the home of the world's best golfer and the location of some of the world's finest golf courses, I am determined that Northern Ireland should make the most of its golfing assets and realise strong economic benefits from them."
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