Ryder Cup trio claim Professional award

 Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley and Pádraig Harrington

Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley and Pádraig Harrington

Ryder Cup trio Paul McGinley, Padraig Harrington and Darren Clarke have won the Professional of the Year accolade from the Irish Golf Writers' Association.

It is the first time the award has been shared since Ireland won the Dunhill Cup in 1990.

The awards, sponsored by O2, will be presented at a dinner in Elm Park Golf Club on January 13.  

Irish Close champion Brian McElhinney has been voted Men's Amateur Player of the Year. 

Claire Coughlan, who twice defeated the teen superstar Michelle Wie in the Curtis Cup at Formby, has won the Women's Amateur Player of the Year award for a third time.

The award for Distinguished Services will be presented to Cecil Whelan, the Secretary of the Links Golfing Society which has raised over €13 million for various charities since it was founded in 1966 and over €5 million since 2000.  

Whelan, a member of Hermitage, has been secretary since its inception.