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McGee reflects on memorable trophy triumph

September 20, 2018

Ruaidhri McGee will return to the Monaghan Irish Challenge as the reigning Christy O’Connor Jnr Memorial Trophy champion, following his six under par total and share of 15th place last year.

McGee reflects on memorable trophy triumph, © Getty Images

- Getty Images

The Christy O’Connor Jnr Memorial Trophy is awarded to the highest placed Irishman at the Monaghan Irish Challenge and McGee claimed the honour with his tied-15th result in 2017. The trophy, designed and made by Waterford Crystal, will be presented at the Monaghan Irish Challenge as the event makes its debut at Concra Wood Golf Club.

The 27 year will compete on home soil for the first time since the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation in July, and also makes a return to Concra Wood, where he played in his younger days.

With a lasting memory from the 2017 event, McGee still feels privileged to have been awarded the trophy named after such an iconic figure.

“It was great to win it and I was delighted to be the top Irishman and claim the trophy from the week,” he said.

“Christy O’Connor Jnr was a massive influence and everyone coming through the ranks in Ireland looks up to him. He’s like an idol, so it was really great to win it, something that was truly a real honour.”

McGee will return to Concra Wood where he played in 2012 and 2013 during his time on the EuroPro Tour. Now, he heads back to Catleblayney following three top ten results from the last six months on the European Challenge Tour.

“I’ve played the Concra Wood course on the EuroPro Tour a few years back. It’s a good golf course and a good place. It’s really, really nice,” he said.

“I’d like to say I know a particular key to playing the course, but I think accuracy off the tee to help you find the best position on the fairway will stand you in good stead, as the greens are quite undulating, so you’ll need a good approach shot.

“It’s going to be nice playing on home soil. Hopefully a few people come and watch as well, and that would make for some great support. Hopefully I’ll have a few friends and family that come out, especially if I’m in contention on Sunday – that would be fun.”

Nigel O’Connor, son of the former Ryder Cup player and 1992 Dunhill British Masters champion, said: “Since its inception in 2016, we have been very proud to present the Christy O’Connor Jnr Memorial Trophy to the leading Irish player at the Irish Challenge.

“It is a fitting tribute to our father, who played on the European Tour for over 30 years. Christy was delighted when Mount Wolseley was chosen to host the event in 2015 and would be equally proud that Concra Wood will hold the event this year.

“In addition, having a trophy for the leading Irishman adds an extra dimension to the event. Both Dermot and Ruaidhri were fantastic recipients of the trophy, and we are sure this year will be no different. Here's to a great week in Concra Wood.”