South of Ireland champion Pat Murray hits out at GUI for early naming of Home International squad
‘It is not good for the South or the Home Internationals either that you have to pick a team so far in advance’
Pat Murray, who won five points out of six at last week’s Interprovincial Matches at Lee Valley in Cork. Photograph: Inpho
The last-minute withdrawal of Headfort’s Brian Casey to better prepare for next month’s European Individual Championship and the Home Internationals has highlighted a flaw in the selection process that needs urgent remedy.
At least, that’s a view that’s not out of sync with that of reigning “South” champion Pat Murray, who firmly believes that the Golfing Union should delay naming future Home International sides until the latter stages at Lahinch having being denied the chance to play his way into the Irish team this week.
With Casey pulling out late, handing Mullingar’s Chris Tormey a walkover into today’s third round, Murray cruised into the last 64 with a 4 and 3 demolition of Jack Walsh, a Senior Cup winner with Castle last year.
The Irish team for next month’s Home Internationals at Ganton was officially announced last Friday, and 42-year old Murray believes the timing is unfair, not only to the South field which has again been devalued by the non-appearance of all 11 members of the chosen side, but also to players showing form.
“I played really well down there and to be frank, I can’t see what difference delaying the selection for another three or four days is going to make,” said Murray, who won five points out of six at last week’s Interprovincial Matches at Lee Valley in Cork.
“If you are trying to pick a team for the Home Internationals and you have the Interpros and South of Ireland, it’s your chance to pick a team that is on form. I would have thought I was still in with a chance of making the Home Internationals, especially having won five out of six points in the Interpros and only losing a foursomes match on the 18th.
“It is not good for the South or the Home Internationals either that you have to pick a team so far in advance. It was picked last Thursday and I think they could delay it until this Tuesday, when you know the last four at Lahinch.”
Thunder and lightning suspended play for 45 minutes. But there was no repeat of Saturday’s shock disqualification of County Louth veteran Barry Reddan and Birr’s Michael Horan for playing out their match during an official stoppage for electrical activity.
Ex-Walker Cup player Arthur Pierse of Tipperary is through to the last 64 having beaten Dunmurry Springs’ Sean Maloney 3 and 2.
Former South of Ireland winner and reigning Irish Amateur Open champion Robbie Cannon beat Portmarnock’s Michael Brett 2 and 1.
Portmarnock’s Stephen Walsh lost on the 18th to Cork’s John Hickey.