THIS weekend yet another West of Ireland Amateur Open Golf Championship is hosted by County Sligo Golf Club at their world-famous Rosses Point course.
Ballincar’s Barry Anderson will be aiming to retain the title he superbly won last year – not since Rory McIlroy’s double in 2005 and 2006 has a West winner won back-to-back titles.
The 2017 winner, who had his uncle, Aidan, as caddy, is one of 20 golfers taking to the course who are either from Sligo or have strong Sligo links.
The men’s captain at County Sligo Golf Club, Joe Keyes, outlined why the ‘West’ is a special competition for him personally and also for Rosses Point village.
“I have grown up with it [the West of Ireland] since I was a kid. I would say that about 1969 or 1970 would be my first memory of it. John O’Leary was in the  final where he was beaten by a Scottish guy called John McTear.”
“I think I may have missed one year since, but I always went even when it was in Enniscrone for three years I still went and, of course, I was a caddy in it as a boy.”
Yesterday (Wednesday) the pre-qualifier for the West of Ireland took place and the main competition gets underway tomorrow (Good Friday) with the first round of stroke play qualifying.
For more the full preview of the 2018 West of Ireland Golf Championship, see this week’s Sligo Weekender for our two page feature – in shops now!
Alternatively, you can purchase an online edition here