Tuesday, August 15, 2023

The waiting is almost over as the ISPS HANDA World Invitational presented by Aviv Clinics gets underway at the renowned Galgorm and new co-host venue Castlerock from this Thursday (Aug 17-20).

The World Invitational is one of golf’s most innovative events where some of the best male and players in the professional game arrive in Northern Ireland to compete in the $3million tri-sanctioned event.

It’s a unique tournament sanctioned by the DP World Tour, LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour where men and women professionals compete at the same venues for the same prize money at the same time.

The global tournament will be broadcast to millions around the world and is the biggest professional golf event in Northern Ireland in 2023. The stars of the fairways have lined up and will be on show at Galgorm and Castlerock this week.

Home interest will focus on the likes of recent DP World Tour winner Tom McKibbin alongside stars from the women’s game, Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow. McKibbin and Meadow are Galgorm’s Touring Professionals and both will be hoping to put on a show as they compete back on home soil.

“I’m really looking forward to heading back home to Galgorm,” said McKibbin, who won the Porsche European Open recently and finished in a tie for 10th in this event last year. “There is nothing like teeing it up on home soil and playing in front of home crowds.”

Meadow recently finished joint third at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, picking up the largest cheque of her career, over $400,000. “Northern Ireland holds a very special place in my heart and I always enjoy going back to the place which will always be home,” said Meadow, who won the women’s title at the inaugural World Invitational in 2019.

Maguire, who won her second LPGA event in June at the Meijer LPGA Classic, said: “I loved playing in this event last year and I can’t wait to return to Galgorm again, as well as Castlerock.”

There will be plenty of other international stars on show, such as Ryder Cup hopefuls Robert MacIntrye from Scotland and France’s Victor Perez. The pair have five DP World Tour wins between them and pencilled in the World Invitational in their final push to make the European Ryder Cup team in September.

Scotland’s Ewen Ferguson and Sweden’s Maja Stark won the 2022 event with some sensational golf played all week, particularly on the final day.

Galgorm is recognised as one of Northern Ireland’s leading tournament venues, while Castlerock is a wonderful new co-host venue that will offer a links-style test for the players.

The action gets underway with the Pro-am at Galgorm on Wednesday (Aug 16) where local names such as rugby’s Paddy Wallace, DJ Pete Snodden, BBC’s Stephen Watson are just some of the names that will tee it up in the fun team event, which is the curtain raiser to tournament week.

Competitors will tee it up at Galgorm and Castlerock over the first two days from Thursday before a halfway cut and the weekend action focuses on Galgorm. Spectator entry to Castlerock is FREE both days, while daily and season tickets are available for Galgorm. Children under-13 go FREE all week.

The World Invitational is a family friendly event with plenty to see and do for all the family. Book your tickets today and be part of this amazing festival of world class golf.

The ISPS HANDA World Invitational presented by AVIV Clinics takes place at Galgorm and Castlerock from August 17-20, 2023