Golf

Ireland's three Walker Cup golfers, Conor Purcell, Caolan Rafferty and James Sugrue, spearhead the line up for Home Internationals

The victorious record winning Irish Home International Golf team arrive at Dublin Airport in 2017. At back back (from left) Conor O'Rourke (Naas), Robin Dawson (Tramore), Colin Fairweather (Knock), John White (Team Manager, Co Armagh), Tony Goode (Team Captain, Lucan), John Carroll (Team Selector, Bandon), Alex Gleeson (Castle), Paul McBride (The Island) and Peter O'Keeffe (Douglas). In front (from left) John Ross Galbraith (Whitehead), Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk), Rowan Lester (Hermitage), Conor Purcell (Portmarnock), Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint) and Neil Manchip (GUI National Coach). Picture by Pat Cashman..
Tony McGee

LAHINCH is bound to play an important role in the men's Home International Championship at the Co Clare links this month,

Ireland have become the dominant force at the Home Internationals in recent seasons.

Few would have predicted that 2014's Triple Crown success would be the start of an unprecedented run, culminating at Moortown in 2017 when Ireland completed four in a row.

Ireland's three Walker Cup players spearhead the line up for this year's Home Internationals.

Conor Purcell (Portmarnock), Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk) and James Sugrue (Mallow) know what it takes to succeed around Lahinch.

All three players have won the South of Ireland at the Co Clare venue in recent season.

Purcell made his championship breakthrough at the South in 2016 and was succeeded as champion by Sugrue.

Rafferty captured his first major title at the South in 2018.

Warrenpoint's Colm Campbell, who delivered the decisive points for Ireland in 2016 and again the following year, returns to the team for Lahinch after a year out through injury.

Campbell, 32, played on all four winning Irish teams from 2014 to 2017 and regained his place on the team through the Bridgestone Order of Merit.

Rob Brazill (22) from Naas is among four newcomers in the side. Like Campbell, Brazill gained his cap automatically through the Bridgestone Order of Merit, which he won. Galway's Ronan Mullarney (23) also secured his place through the merit table.

Holywood's Tom McKibbin (16) is the youngest player selected. McKibbin has been promoted from the Boys team after a year in which he has won the Peter McEvoy Trophy and the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley.

Malone's Matthew McClean and Keith Egan from Carton House have also been selected for the first time following impressive seasons.

Sean Flanagan (Portmarnock) returns to the team having last played in green at the 2016 Home Internationals.

Ireland: Rob Brazill (Naas), Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint), Keith Egan (Carton House), Sean Flanagan (Portmarnock), Matthew McClean (Malone), Tom McKibbin (Holywood), Tiarnán McLarnon (Massereene), Ronan Mullarney (Galway), Conor Purcell (Portmarnock), Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk), James Sugrue (Mallow).

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