OFFICIALS at Galgorm Castle are close to sealing a deal to bring a Challenge Tour event to the Co Antrim venue.
“We are having very positive talks with Alain de Soultrait, Director of Challenge Tour and his team and they are very supportive of our initiative to bring the European Challenge Tour back to Ireland,” said Galgorm Castle general manager, Gary Henry.
“We believe this event will be extremely beneficial to the young Irish professionals who are currently suffering from a lack of opportunities to compete at this level.
“It would be a great opportunity, in line with the success of the Irish Open and the Irish performances at a World level, to ensure the aspiring stars of Irish golf can prove themselves ready to be step up to the European Tour.”
The Ballymena venue has a proven track record as a quality championship venue and for the last three years has hosted a highly regarded EuroPro Tour event.
Securing a Challenge Tour event would be a significant step up and would require a major financial commitment from sponsors and government.
“Golf Tourism is an important part of the Irish economy and very much a developing area for Northern Ireland Tourism,” added Gary.
“This event will help promote Northern Ireland and the Ballymena area in particular building on the great success of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush
“The Irish people love their golf and many spectators are expected to attend the event over the week.
“The household names and the international field of Europe’s up and coming stars will create a great buzz for Irish golf and the local economy.”