Fergal Makes History
Fergal O’Leary becomes the youngest man in history to play the World’s Top 100 Golf Courses
AUGUST 2015, South Africa – This summer, Dublin-native Fergal O’Leary will prove the catch-phrase ‘luck of the Irish’ and become the youngest man in history to play the World’s Top 100 Golf Courses. The 32-year old will conclude his quest at the Durban Country Club in South Africa this August.
Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, O’Leary grew up in the backyard of one of the world’s greatest links, Portmarnock Golf Club. Rapidly becoming a talented and passionate golfer, he began to play competitive club level golf at the age of twelve. He took a summer job as a caddy, at a comparable course in the United States, the reputable ‘The Country Club’ in Brookline, Massachusetts. Being privy to such elite clubs and courses sparked a strong aspiration to continue identifying and playing the unique, high caliber greens – majority of which are private clubs. Using his relationships gained as a caddy and his ‘scratch’ handicap, he requested invitations for the opportunity to play on the courses. In 2007, US-based O’Leary set a long-term goal to play on the country’s top 50 clubs including Cypress Point, Sand Hills, Shinnecock Hills, Augusta National and Ballyneal, where he shot an impressive 66. Maintaining a full-time job as an IT Risk Assurance Professional, where he was required to travel on a regular basis, O’Leary devoted all of his downtime including weekends and holidays to visit the individual courses. Many of the courses were in clusters and he was able to play several in one weekend. The momentum continued and in September 2011, 28-year old Fergal played the original course at Sutton Bay, a course that no longer exists, to complete the Top 100 courses in the United States. He became the youngest person, as well as, the first Irishman to accomplish this in history.
O’Leary is constantly inspired by the words of David Forgan from 1899, “Golf is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you may exhaust yourself but never your subject. It is a contest, a duel, a calling for skill, courage, strategy and self-control. It is a test of temper, a trial of honour, and a revealer of character. It means going into God’s out-of-doors, getting close to nature and fresh air. It includes companionship with friends, opportunities for courtesy, kindness and generosity to an opponent.”
To date, twenty-six people have played a World Top 100 list, twenty-one of whom are still alive today. Not one of these successors has derived from Ireland. Traveling to countries including the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Portugal, China, Australia and New Zealand, O’Leary’s dream to complete this challenge as both the first Irish man, as well as, the youngest man in history will be reached this summer.
O’Leary resides in Boston, Massachusetts and holds the title of Golf Magazine’s Top 100 panelist, Golf Digest’s panelist and the US correspondent for Top 100 Golf Courses of the World in the United Kingdom.For all press inquiries: Elizabeth Tuke, [email protected]