Date: July 23, 2018
Author: Golf Australia

Nine holes from Northern Ireland

As the dust settles on an incredible 147th Open, Golf Australia has announced that, in 2019, two Australian golfers will fly to Northern Ireland to compete in the R&A's nine-hole championship final at Royal Portrush – the venue for the 148th Open – the day before championship week begins.

The second edition of the R&A's nine-hole championship final was contested on 14 July on the first four and closing five holes of the Championship Course at the famous Carnoustie links, creating memories to last the 42 competitors a lifetime.

“We were playing just ahead of Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy, who were practising on the course, so we felt like we were really part of The Open,” said Christopher Cudahy of Tadmarton Heath in Banbury, England, who partnered Andrew Sabin to overall victory in the stableford competition.

“When you stand on the first tee and they call your name out, with all the grandstands around you, it raises the hairs on the back of your neck,” Sabin said.

“It’s a nerve-wracking but fantastic experience. I will remember it for years.”

The experience of playing nine holes at Royal Portrush, a venue to which the championship returns for the first time in 68 years, just before the world’s best get into their work, will go to the best individual male and female stableford scores at the second playing of Golf Australia’s national Play 9 final.

This event will take place on the Saturday of the 2018 Australian Open at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney, with qualifiers earning their spots through nine-hole competitions across the country.

It is hoped this once-in-a-lifetime prize will act as a further incentive for Australia’s clubs and facilities to stage nine-hole competitions before the qualifying cut-off of 21 October, to maximise golfers’ chances to win.

These magnificent opportunities are part of a global focus on nine-hole golf, which is becoming increasingly popular. It can be played socially or competitively and is playing a significant role in keeping passionate golfers engaged with the game during time-poor periods of their lives.

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