MU golfers tee up for Arnold Palmer Cup in Lahinch

Kate Lanigan gets into the swing of things ahead of the competition: Brian Arthur Photography
Thursday, July 4, 2024 - 12:30

Maynooth University golfers Ryan Griffin and Kate Lanigan will be in action on the International Team against the USA in the Arnold Palmer Cup collegiate golf competition which gets underway in Lahinch, Co Clare on Friday.

Golf Manager Barry Fennelly
Maynooth University has a very strong presence in this year’s Arnold Palmer Cup. The MU students join two other Irish players on the 24-strong International team led by MU’s Golf Development Officer Barry Fennelly, which is looking to win back the title against a star-studded USA side.

Maynooth University has been represented at nine of the last 11 Arnold Palmer Cup matches, a feat not matched by any institution outside of the US.

Ryan, an MU Psychology student from Ballybofey in Co Donegal, is making his second appearance in the competition while Kate, a Maynooth native studying for a Masters of Finance, is making her debut in the competition, the pinnacle of collegiate golf. They are joined by two other Irish players on the International team -- University of Louisville’s Max Kennedy and the University of Miami’s Sara Byrne.

“It’s a real honour to be involved and to have four Irish players on the team is just a brilliant testament to the quality of amateur golf in the country,” says MU’s Barry Fennelly, who is co-head coach of the team alongside Aaron O’Callaghan. “To bring the best of the best in college golf to Lahinch in this format, it’s just a dream come true to be involved.”
Fennelly, who is programme coordinator for the Paddy Harrington Golf Scholarship in MU, has been involved in the competition since 2016 and believes the International Team has a great chance.

“Going again the Americans is a hard task. Obviously they’re the top ranked players in the world. But we have a very strong team, we’re going to use the golf course as our weapon. We’re very acclimatised to playing in wind and rain and I think our team are well prepared so we’re going to bring a lot of fight to this.”

Lahinch Golf Club in Co Clare

Lahinch Golf Club was due to host the Arnold Palmer Cup in 2020 but the club's hosting was postponed until this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The competition, which takes place from July 5-7, is a Ryder Cup-style tournament featuring the top 24 men’s and women’s university/college golfers in the US against a team made up of their international counterparts.

Ryan and Kate earned their place on the International team by finishing top of the R&A Student Tour Series Order of Merit. “It’s an incredible honour to be on the team,” says Kate, who also made the cut in last year’s KPMG Women’s Irish Open and recently tied for second in the Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open.

MU's Ryan Griffin with Caitlyn Macnab of the International Team ahead of the competition; Brian Arthur Photography