The Island Golf Club is proud to host The Amateur Championship in 2019 with Portmarnock Golf Club. This is only the second time in the Championship’s history that it has been hosted outside Britain, with Portmarnock Golf Club previously hosting the event in 1949.
The Amateur Championship (sometimes referred to as the British Amateur Championship), along with the United States Amateur Championship and the Walker Cup, is one of the world’s most prestigious amateur golf tournaments. Organized by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, The Amateur Championship has the widest international representation of any amateur event and is reserved for the top 288 amateurs from around the world. The winner receives invitations to three of the major championships, namely The Open Championship, U.S. Open, and U.S. Masters.
The Amateur Championship was first played in 1885 at Hoylake and, to date, has visited twenty-two locations throughout Britain and Ireland. Hoylake has hosted the greatest number of events (18) followed by St. Andrews (16), Royal St. George’s (14), Prestwick (11) and Muirfield (11).
The trophy has been lifted by some of the greatest names in golf with John Ball, Jr. of Hoylake winning a record eight times. In 1890, he also became the first English-born player to win The Open Championship.
Sir Michael Bonallack has won The Amateur five times and, in 1930, the USA’s Bobby Jones won as part of his famous Grand Slam.
Other notable winners of the event include Jose Maria Olazabal who beat Colin Montgomerie at Formby in 1984 and Sergio Garcia who triumphed in 1998 at Muirfield.
Irish golfers have been well represented over the years with The Island’s Paul McBride reaching the semi-finals at Royal Porthcawl in 2016 and the quarter-finals in Royal St. George’s in 2017. Robin Dawson from Tramore was runner-up at Royal Aberdeen in 2018. In total, there have been nine Irish wins, three of these belonging to the great Joe Carr:
1946: Jimmy Bruen at Royal Birkdale
1949: Max McCready at Portmarnock Golf Club
1953: Joe Carr at Royal Liverpool (Hoylake)
1958: Joe Carr at St. Andrews
1960: Joe Carr at Royal Portrush
1985: Gareth McGimpsey at Royal Dornoch
2001: Michael Hoey at Prestwick
2005: Brian McElhinney at Royal Birkdale
2012: Alan Dunbar at Royal Troon
The first stage of the Championship involves 288 players each playing one qualifying round at each of the two host clubs. The qualifying rounds in 2019 will be played at The Island and Portmarnock Golf Clubs on 17 and 18 June. The top 64 qualifiers will then enter the match-play stage which will be hosted by Portmarnock Golf Club. Each match will be played over eighteen holes except for the final which be contested over thirty-six holes.