Conor O’Rourke leads Ireland's Links Trophy raiding party

Conor O’Rourke will spearhead the Irish attack as 16 stars travel to Scotland for the start of St Andrews Links Trophy today.

Conor O’Rourke leads Ireland's Links Trophy raiding party

Naas man O’Rourke won an exciting battle with Sandy Scott in last year’s tournament, pipping the Scot to the title by one stroke with 275, and is back to defend his crown.

However, his preparation took a hit as he finished tied for 34th at the Carrick Neill Scottish Men’s Open Championship last week at Western Gailes.

He will be hoping for an improved display on his return to Scotland but John Ross Galbraith (Whitehead) will be looking to build on his eighth-place finish at the tournament.

Former Irish Amateur Open champion Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint), who finished 20th last year, will be hoping to become only the third Irish winner, after O’Rourke and Alan Dunbar in 2009, while Irish Amateur Close champion Alex Gleeson (Castle) will also be targeting glory.

Meanwhile, Paul McBride (The Island) and Robin Dawson (Tramore) will both be aiming to strengthen their hopes of a place in the Walker Cup squad. Jonathan Yates (Naas), Sean Flanagan (County Sligo), Ronan Mullarney (Galway), Jordan Hood (Galgorm Castle), Jake Whelan (Newlands), Rowan Lester (Hermitage), Tiarnon McLarnon (Masserenne), Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk) and Portmarnock duo Jack Pierse and Conor Purcell make-up the rest of the Irish party.

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