Headfort’s Rory McNamara ready for big break in Morocco

The 26-year-old competes on the European Tour this week after winning on the EDP Tour

Headfort's Rory McNamara will tee it up at the Trophée Hassan II in Morocco this week after booking himself a place by winning the Tony Jacklin Classic on the EDP Tour – a mini tour based in Munich.

The 26-year-old joins the Irish contingent alongside veteran Peter Lawrie and four of this season's Team Ireland Grant recipients in Cormac Sharvin, Gary Hurley, Paul Dunne and Kevin Phelan.

Meanwhile, Andrew Johnston has vowed not to rest on his laurels despite fully enjoying the aftermath of his first European Tour title in the Spanish Open last month.

Johnston hit the headlines following his victory at Valderrama by admitting in a television interview that he could not wait to get home to see friends and family and “get hammered”.


Judging by subsequent posts on social media he certainly achieved those goals, but the 27-year-old is determined to prove his success was not a flash in the pan as he returns to action at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam.

"I'm still getting flashbacks and good vibes from the week in Spain and everyone has come up and said 'Well done', but I've got to move on and try and do it again," said Johnston, whose victory made him the first winner of a regular European Tour event with an over-par total since Ian Woosnam in the Scottish Open at Carnoustie in 1996.

“I have to knuckle down and keep going. My win hasn’t changed anything in terms of my game. There are so many good players out here, so you’ve just got to just keep working hard and build on it.

“I’ve got to use the win as a stepping stone and not slack off. I think, if anything, it almost puts more pressure on me to do it again. Winning once is hard enough, but it’s probably even harder to win again so you’ve got to prove to yourself and others you can do it.”

Looking back on the fortnight after his breakthrough win, Johnston added: “I flew back from Spain on the Monday and popped into my home club (North Middlesex) that night to see a few of my mates. They put a massive banner up outside the golf club and I nearly crashed the car when I saw it.

“We had such a good night though. Then the next morning we went to my favourite cafe and had a few bacon sandwiches to aid the recovery.

“We had the big party at the club on the Friday, which was so good. I couldn’t believe how many people turned up, it was such a laugh and a great event.

“I was also lucky enough to get invited into the Arsenal director’s box thanks to a member at the club. I had to go and get a few bits for that because I didn’t have a suit. I also had to go and get a haircut and get the beard trimmed so I looked kind of presentable.”

Johnston, whose win lifted him from 224th in the world rankings to 125th, is among the favourites to win in Morocco with South Africa's Dean Burmester (97th) and France's Alexander Levy (100) the only players in the field ranked inside the world's top 100.

Scotland's Richie Ramsay, who was sixth in the Volvo China Open on Sunday, has opted not to defend the title he won in Agadir last year, writing on Twitter: "All the best to players competing in Morocco this week.

"I would love to defend over such a great course in Rabat but my baby daughter Olivia is only 2months and haven't seen her for 3 1/2 weeks."