GUI chief backing Thurles Golf Club to come up trumps hosting AIG Cups and Shields finals

GUI President-elect John Moloughney is backing Thurles Golf Club to keep up the high standards of the AIG Cups and Shields finals when they are staged at the Tipperary club in 2018.

Former Munster president Moloughney will be Irish men’s golf’s figurehead in an illustrious year when he succeeds GUI president Peter Sinclair, with the governing body hosting the World Amateur Team Championships for men and women at Carton House next September.

In addition to the staging of the men’s Eisenhower and women’s Espiritu Santo trophies, Moloughney will also have the honour of the All Ireland inter-club finals taking place in his home parish of Moycarkey, Tipperary, where Thurles Golf Club is situated.

A four-year run for the Cups and Shields at Carton House came to an end on Saturday with the baton being passed to the Tipperary club as the GUI’s annual interclub showpiece returns to a rotation policy around the four provinces.

“The Cups and Shields are going back on the road again, back to the provincial venues after being at Carton House since 2014 and so Thurles are fortunate to have been chosen as next year’s venue,” Moloughney told the Irish Examiner.

“That will be a big weekend in Thurles and I’m sure they’ll be preparing for a long number of weeks before that. Preparations really start now because these things have to be planned well in advance, given the logistics involved, and our people from headquarters here at Carton House will go down and give them every assistance and Mark Wehrly, our Championships Director, will be engaged in that aspect of it. Next year will be my year as president of the Union and I wouldn’t say I’m a native of Thurles but I am of the neighbouring parish where the golf club is located. Even though I’ve lived in Templemore for the last 40 years or so I’m still a Moycarkey man and it’s in our parish. So it’s a very special time and the club will really row in behind it and put their shoulders to the wheel to get the thing going.”

This year’s Cups and Shields saw three of the four provinces share in the spoils as Galway GC and Castlebar GC took home to Connacht the Senior Cup and Jimmy Bruen Shield respectively, while Warrenpoint won the Barton Shield for Ulster and Ballybunion lifted the Junior Cup. There was further joy for Munster when Thurles took home the Pierce Purcell Shield.

Attempting to earn a return ticket back to the All Ireland finals to defend their crown on home turf will be an extra incentive for the Thurles team and Moloughney added: “They’re very difficult to win in the first place, number one, and they’re even more difficult to defend, a little bit like Tipperary trying to do two in a row in the hurling!”

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