Irish Golf Writers’ Awards for Paul Dunne, Leona Maguire and Paul McBride

 Paul Dunne. Picture: Getty Images

Paul Dunne. Picture: Getty Images

Greystones' Paul Dunne crowned a magnificent 2017 when he received the “Professional of the Year” award from the Irish Golf Writers’ Association at the Allianz sponsored annual awards at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links last night.

The former Walker Cup star (25) enjoyed a breakthrough year in just his second full season on tour, memorably chipping in at the 72nd hole for a closing 61 to win the British Masters by three shots on 20-under-par from a charging Rory McIlroy at Close House in Newcastle in October.

Leona Maguire 2017 Ladies British Open Amateur Champion.jpg

In a season where he jumped from 275th to 76th in the world rankings, Dunne – who was also runner-up to Edoardo Molinari after a playoff for the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco in April — finished 16th in the final Race to Dubai standings with prize money of €1.7 million.

Slieve Russell’s Leona Maguire (23), the world number one ranked amateur player, earned the “Women’s Amateur of the Year” award while The Island’s Paul McBride (22) was voted “Men’s Amateur of the Year."

It was another standout season for Maguire, who won the British Ladies Amateur Championship at Pyle & Kenfig in Wales, beating Spain’s Ainhoa Olarra 3 and 2 in the final.

A final year student at Duke University in the United States, she was also the dominant player on the US collegiate circuit with five victories in the calendar year – the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, the LSU Tiger Classic, the ACC Championship, the Jim West Challenge and the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invite – where she was named WGCA Player of the Year.

A final year student at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, McBride was the sole Irish representative on the Great Britain and Ireland Walker team which was defeated by the United States at Los Angeles Country Club in September. 

He reached the quarter-final of the British Amateur Championship at Royal St George’s and made the cut in the Porsche European Open on the PGA European Tour on his debut in a professional event.

 Paul McBride during the 2017 Walker Cup. Picture © USGA

Paul McBride during the 2017 Walker Cup. Picture © USGA

The top-ranked Irish men’s player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking – currently ranked 41st – he also played a critical role in Ireland winning the Home Internationals for the fourth year running when he remained unbeaten, winning four and a half points from five matches at Moortown Golf Club in Leeds.

Gavin Caldwell, the former captain of the R&A, and Michael Moss, the retired general manager of Portstewart Golf Club which played host to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, received “Distinguished Services to Golf” awards.

Greg Allen wins Mary McKenna Trophy

 Greg Allen poses with some vanquish IGWA members and our generous hosts from Bunclody Golf & Fishing Club

Greg Allen poses with some vanquish IGWA members and our generous hosts from Bunclody Golf & Fishing Club

RTE's Greg Allen doesn't just talk a good game, he plays it very nicely too. Perhaps it was the quality of the track that brought out the best in him as he captured the Mary McKenna Trophy awarded to the winner of the Irish Golf Writers' Association Championship at Bunclody Golf & Fishing Club.

It wasn't the first time that Greg has lifted the lovely little claret jug either but his fourth victory. Congratulations Greg and our sincerest thanks to General Manager Caroline Dunne, President Michael Cowman, Captain James Conway and all the staff at Bunclody for their magnificent hospitality on October 26.

 L-R, Tony Ensor, Michael Cowman (President), Greg Allen (winner), Caroline Dunne (General Manager) and James Conway (Captain) following the Irish Golf Writers' Championship at Bunclody Golf &Fishing Club

L-R, Tony Ensor, Michael Cowman (President), Greg Allen (winner), Caroline Dunne (General Manager) and James Conway (Captain) following the Irish Golf Writers' Championship at Bunclody Golf &Fishing Club

 Greg Allen

Greg Allen

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Shane Lowry, Claire Dowling, Leona Maguire and Paul Dunne win 2015 Irish Golf Writers' awards

Shane Lowry, Claire Dowling, Leona Maguire and Paul Dunne win 2015 Irish Golf Writers' awards

Shane Lowry’s breakout season, which was highlighted by a stunning victory in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, has earned the 28-year-old Offalyman the accolade of “Professional of the Year” in the 2015 Irish Golf Writers’ Awards, sponsored by Carr Golf.

Major winners McIlroy and Clarke share Professional of the Year award

Major winners McIlroy and Clarke share Professional of the Year award

Rory McIlroy, the US Open champion, and Darren Clarke, the British Open champion, have been jointly voted ‘Professional of the Year’ in the AIB Irish Golf Writers’ Awards for 2011.

McDowell adds to his list of honours in stellar season

McDowell adds to his list of honours in stellar season

Graeme McDowell, who enjoyed a spectacular season on tour which saw him anchor Europe to victory in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and claim a breakthrough win in the Majors when winning the US Open at Pebble Beach, has been voted the ‘Professional of the Year’ in the AIB Irish Golf Writers’ Awards for 2010.

McIlroy wins IGWA Professional of the Year Award for 2009

McIlroy wins IGWA Professional of the Year Award for 2009

Rory McIlroy, who has risen from 39th to ninth position in the official world rankings in his first full season on tour, has been voted the ‘Professional of the Year’ in the 2009 Irish Golf Writers’ Association Awards, sponsored by AIB Bank.

Harrington tops the awards lists

Harrington tops the awards lists

Padraig Harrington has put his feet up, locked away his clubs (at least competitively) and pigeonholed some time of his own for winter holidays. But, still, the awards keep rolling in to serve as a reminder of just how good a year he had in 2008 when he captured two majors, the British Open and the US PGA.

Harrington named 2008 IGWA Professional of the Year

Harrington named 2008 IGWA Professional of the Year

Pádraig Harrington’s outstanding performances in 2008 where he retained the British Open championship at Royal Birkdale in July before adding the US PGA Championship at Oakland Hills in August has earned him the ‘Professional of the Year’ award from the Irish Golf Writers’ Association.

AIB Irish Golf Writers’ Association Award Winners for 2007

AIB Irish Golf Writers’ Association Award Winners for 2007

Pádraig Harrington, who became the first Irishman since Fred Daly in 1947 to win The Open championship when he triumphed in a dramatic play-off with Sergio Garcia at Carnoustie in July, has been named as the ‘Professional of the Year’ for 2007 by the Irish Golf Writers’ Association.

Harrington wins 2006 IGWA ‘Professional of the Year’ award

Harrington wins 2006 IGWA ‘Professional of the Year’ award
Padraig Harrington, who became only the third Irish player to win the Harry Vardon Trophy as PGA European Tour Order of Merit winner, has been named as ‘Professional of the Year’ for 2006 by the Irish Golf Writers’ Association.

McGinley voted ‘Professional Player of the Year’

McGinley voted ‘Professional Player of the Year’
Paul McGinley with the 2005 Volvo Masters trophyPaul McGinley has been rewarded for a year that saw him win the PGA European Tour season-ending Volvo Masters and rise from 68th in the official world rankings to a career-high 18th by being named as the recipient of the O2 Irish Golf Writers’ Association ‘Professional Player of the Year’ for 2005.

A fitting accolade for veteran Fred Daly

A fitting accolade for veteran Fred Daly

Fred Daly, the only Irishman to win the British Open Championship and one of the greatest golfers to grace the scene in these islands in the post-war era, has won the Distinguished Service Award in a ballot by members of the Irish Golf Writers' Association writes Edmund Van Esbeck.

Mary Gorry takes second Irish Golf Writers' award

Irish champion Mary Gorry (Baltinglass), who won the Irish Golf Writers' Association award last year as the outstanding woman golfer, has again been voted the winner in that category this year, writes Edmund Van Escbeck. She thus has the distinction of being the first person to win two IGWA awards.