Despite the difficult prevailing financial climate in the country it is encouraging to see that the Irish Sports Council has been able to assist two of our recent recruits to the world of professional Golf.
The I.S.C has just announced Team Ireland Golf Trust grants of €12,000 for Paul Cutler and €7,500 for Danielle McVeigh as they commence their careers on the professional golf circuit.
Paul Cutler recently turned professional following the successful Walker Cup match against the United States in which he was the top points scorer for the GB&I team. For the past two seasons Paul has been Ireland’s leading amateur player and was the highest ranked amateur at the Irish Open in Killarney. He won the Irish Amateur Close Championship in Shannon this year, a competition which has been won by Ireland’s four major winners of recent seasons; Darren Clarke, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington.
Speaking from his first Tour event in Austria where he is playing under invitation, Paul commented: “After a successful amateur career it was always my intention to turn professional and I am very excited about what lies ahead. I have managed to secure some invaluable invitations to European Tour events, and alongside Qualifying School, this will be a great start to my professional career. I have a busy few months ahead and I am absolutely delighted to hear that the Irish Sports Council are willing to support me through their Team Ireland Golf Trust. I fully appreciate that funding is harder and harder to come by in current climates, and the extremely generous support from the Sports Council is exactly what I need to kick-start my career. I would like to thank everyone involved and hope that I can repay their gratitude and support with some good performances on the golf course.”
Danielle McVeigh made her professional debut at the Ladies Irish Open at Killeen Castle in August. Prior to that Danielle was one of Ireland’s foremost amateur golfers having won the British Amateur Championship in 2009 and been a member of the Curtis Cup team in 2010. Danielle will play in a number of events on LET Access Tour before the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School in January.
Responding to the news of her grant Danielle said: “The grant is helping me in the transition from amateur to professional, being able to play events over the winter will be invaluable preparation before tour school in January. Without the help from Team Ireland I wouldn’t be able to compete in the run up to the school, this is a vital step in securing my card for 2012″
John Treacy, Chief Executive of the Irish Sports Council said: “The Council is delighted to be in a position to support these two outstanding young talents as they commence their professional careers. Paul and Danielle are products of the GUI and ILGU and it is important to acknowledge the enormous contribution of those organisations to Irish sport”.
These grants are for 2011. They bring the total allocated in this year to €190,000 to 17 golfers. The Trust aims to contribute to an increase in the presence of Irish golf professionals on the various international tours. The Trust assists Irish golfers, both male and female, in the early stages of their careers to become established players on the main international PGA Tours.
As part of the support package, all golfers can avail of the world class facilities at the GUI’s National Academy at Carton House. The golfers on the scheme also have free access to the network of service providers such as physiologists, sports psychologists, bio mechanists, physiotherapists and doctors coordinated by the Institute of Sport at Abbotstown.