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Griffin: “The elements are going to play a big part” – Irish Golfer Magazine

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It’s looking like another Novemberish summer in Ireland this year and while the majority of the country will be moaning in unison about having to break out the anoraks rather than the shorts, Ryan Griffin is licking his lips down in Lahinch.

The Ballybofey man is making his second appearance in the Arnold Palmer Cup for the International team on Friday against the USA alongside fellow Irish golfers Max Kennedy, Sara Byrne and Kate Lanigan.

48 of the best collegiate amateurs in the world will be taking over Lahinch Golf Club this weekend with the USA side boasting three of the top-10 in the women’s world amateur golf rankings and the Women’s Amateur champion, Melanie Greene while the men’s side have six of the top-7 players in the world including world number one Gordon Sargeant.

Despite being the underdogs heading into the three-day event, Griffin knows links golf can act as a leveller, particularly if the weather keeps behaving like it has been this summer.

“The elements are going to play a big part, there’s going to be a few showers. It’s going to be windy all week so whoever can manage their golf ball in the wind and control it is going to have a good chance at getting a few points this week,” said the R&A Student Series Order of Merit winner.

Griffin impressed during his first stint in Laurel Valley last year and he is looking forward to the weekend.

“Playing in this thins it’s unbelievably special. To represent the umbrella logo on the shirt it’s fantastic and incredibly grateful for everything it stands for and for the experiences that we can all have with it.”

Over the years, Maynooth have produced seven Arnold Palmer Cup players, with Lanigan and Griffin flying the flag in Lahinch this week.

Maynooth Golf programme co-ordinator Barry Fennelly is the International Team Head Coach on a weekend that means so much to both him and golf programme in Maynooth.

“My first Palmer Cup was 2013 and that was a product of Gary Hurley’s success early in Maynooth,” said Fennelly.

“There is not many competitions that brings together the best amateur players in the world. We know how strong college golf is but as much as golf is an individual sport, we all love playing together in a team.

“The team golf is a brilliant spectacle and the players feed off it. That is a huge part of it. The reputation of the Palmer Cup and there is so many great players, Major winners, world beaters who have played Palmer Cup and really found it beneficial, being a springboard to the pro game. There is a huge legacy to it.

“Also the Arnold Palmer name and what he did for the game. If you are involved in it or you have played in it, that is a huge part of it. It’s something that he started many years ago and the whole comradery and the way the matches are played in great spirit, that is just a testament to Mr Palmer.

“That theme runs through the Palmer Cup, how golf should be played in the spirit of the game. That is lovely to see. It is lovely to see the intense competition but at the same time, the Americans, Europeans and internationals, there is great comradery after it. There is great friendships built.

“That is why we all love the game of golf and that certainly makes it unique.”

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