The best of national and international squash players return to Galway next week for the ‘Paddy Whack Walsh’ West of Ireland Open Squash Championships.
Starting on Tuesday 15 and culminating in Sunday’s finals, the annual championships hosted by the Galway Lawn Tennis Club, offer one of the most substantial prize funds for a sporting event in the west of Ireland.
Sponsored by Garavan’s Bar, the championships attract some of the world’s highest ranking players for the overall prize fund of €10,000.
Confirmed professional players will be travelling from Britain, America and Australia, local hopes will rest with Galway’s former winner John Rooney, who is returning from the USA. Irish hopes will also rest on Arthur Gaskin from Carlow, who is currently ranked No 1 in the country, but it is Australian Ryan Cuskelly, with a world ranking of 36, who is hotly tipped to win the 2014 PSA competition.
The tournament begins with the initial qualification rounds on the opening two days where four positions are reserved draw to allow younger players with lower rankings the opportunity to compete, in addition to four ‘local spots’.
The graded sections start on the Friday and run alongside the PSA event until Sunday, open to all standards from internationally ranked to club level players.
Andre Davies, president of the Galway Lawn Tennis Club, says it is an honour for the club to host this competition.
“When you see the talent of players participating and the prize fund, it really highlights the calibre of the event.”
All events at the championship are free of charge to attend. For further details visit www.gltc.ie