McIlroy and McDowell have it all to play for at Conway Farms
Getting to megabucks Tour Championship shindig next week still in their own hands
Phelan, the 22-year-old from Waterford, turned professional after playing in last week’s Walker Cup and has joined Chubby Chandler’s ISM stable of players which includes Lee Westwood, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Darren Clarke.
The Dutch tournament is the only invitation which Phelan has received so far, as he sets about chasing his tour card.
“It’s a big step, but one I am looking forward to taking,” said Phelan, who has finished his studies at North Florida University.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my amateur career and feel ISM offer the best options moving forward, considering what they have done for so many young golfers.”
Phelan intends to go to the European Tour’s qualifying school at the end of the season in his quest to claim a full tour card for 2014, although there remains the possibility of further invitations in the weeks ahead.
Chandler has been “impressed” with Phelan’s achievements in the amateur ranks, which included making the cut at this year’s US Open at Merion. “I am sure he will go as far as he wants to in golf,” added Chandler.
Phelan’s Walker Cup commitments have meant a late arrival in Amsterdam but he has scheduled a practice round with Shane Lowry for this afternoon.
Phelan and Lowry are joined by a strong Irish contingent that includes Pádraig Harrington, who still occupies the 60th and last automatic position in the Race to Dubai qualifying, Simon Thornton, Peter Lawrie, Damien McGrane, Paul McGinley, Gareth Maybin and David Higgins.
Whilst Harrington is fighting to stay inside the top-60 that will make it to Dubai in November for the season-ending DP World Championship, there is a different sort of pressure on Higgins, who is fighting to retain his tour card for next season. Higgins is 166th on the money list, with the top-110 keeping the precious card.
Gareth Shaw, meanwhile, is the only Irish player competing in the Kharkov Superior Cup on the Challenge Tour this week.
The Ulsterman has travelled to Ukraine in 60th position on the money list. There are only four regular events left on the Challenge Tour before the top-45 on the order of merit move on to contest the Grand Final in Dubai, where the top-15 will claim full tour cards for 2014.