The Challenge 2021
Portmarnock makes history as the first Irish Links to ever host The Challenge
The Irish Challenge is a prestigious golf tournament on the Challenge Tour, focused around ‘the next generation of golfing stars’. The Road to Mallorca International Schedule comprises of 25 tournaments in 15 different countries around the world. The purpose of the ‘Road to Mallorca’ is to find the next crop of golfing stars competing for one of the 20 cards on offer for the 2022 European Tour season.
In 2021, Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links proudly hosted The Irish Challenge, making history as the first Irish Links to ever host the tournament.
Although the tournament was unfortunately staged behind closed doors away from live public viewing due to Covid restrictions, the Bernhard Langer-designed Portmarnock Links presented an opportunity for no fewer than 28 home players to impact on a stage just one rung below the main tour.
During the run-up to the start of the tournament, Germany’s Moritz Lampert, a three-time winner on the Challenge Tour, spoke of getting a rare opportunity to play a genuine links course on the circuit, “The course is looking absolutely brilliant and it looks like we may be lucky for once with the weather”.
Daan Huizing produced a sensational final round of golf to win the Irish Challenge and claim his third European Challenge Tour title defeating Spaniard Eduard Rousaud in a play-off at Portmarnock Links.
Huizing carded a four-under-par round of 67, which included birdies at 16 and 18, to take the clubhouse lead at nine under par before Rousaud birdied the 18th with a stunning long-range putt to force a play-off.
In second place came Eduard Rousaud who had also pulled off an amazing performance over the course of the four days. Then came Alfredo Garcia-Heredia from Spain in third. In joint fourth place came Ballymena native in Northern Ireland, Dermot McElroy, who shared the position with David Borda from Spain and Yannik Paul from Germany. We even had our very own PGA Teaching Professional for Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links, Brendan Walton, competing in The Irish Challenge too!
This was an incredibly proud week for us and an experience we will treasure, we want to thank our fantastic team for their passion, perseverance and effort to deliver a flawless competition during unique times.