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Buncrana teen Jack to play at Pinehurst 11.07.14

by Linda McGrory

A YOUNG Buncrana golf sensation has won a dream qualification to play at Pinehurst, North Carolina - scene of last month’s tough US Open.
Six-handicapper Jack Duffy has qualified for the world's biggest junior golf tournament - the US Kids Golf World Championship 2014.
A member of Buncrana Golf Club, the youngster was invited to play in the 13s age category of the competition after a top-four finish in the US Kids Golf European Championship in Scotland. And the trip will also be a great present for Jack, who celebrates his 13th birthday tomorrow.
Jack's caddie in the recent Scottish competition was his grandfather, Mickey McCann (69), from Burnfoot, who began teaching the youngster to play the game when he was just a toddler.
"Daddy gave Jack a wee plastic club when he was about three and he used to hit that about their back garden all the time," said Jack's mum Michelle (42) who is also a keen golfer and lady secretary at the 'lower links'.
"Daddy then started taking him out on the golf course when he was about seven. He used to tie Jack's wee golf bag on to his own big bag and away they would go," she laughed.
 Jack in action at the US Kids Golf European Championship in Scotland.
Members of the nine-hole Buncrana links club have been busy fundraising in recent weeks to help pay for his trip-of-a-lifetime. Michelle said she can't thank them all enough.
"The support in Buncrana and around the area is outstanding," she said.
Michelle also thanked her brother Joseph who helped raise money for his nephew's trip, with a fundraiser at his golf club in Chicago.
Soccer fan Jack, who ranks Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy among his favourite golfers, is getting in plenty of practise and coaching ahead of his trip to Pinehurst, where German pro Martin Kaymer lifted the US Open title last month.
The Inishowen boy will join other talented young golfers from the island of Ireland and 35 other nations for the July 24-26 tournament. Also cheering him on from Buncrana will be his father, Patrick, who runs the garage at Lisfannon, and his sister Nicole (10).
Buncrana Golf Club manager, Francis McGrory, said he had never seen a young player demonstrate so much flair and dedication to the game.
"Jack has a great natural golfing ability and the potential he has is tremendous. He is a fantastic ambassador for the Buncrana Golf Club and town of Buncrana and everyone wishes him all the best for his trip to Pinehurst," he said.
Meanwhile, Jack, who has aspirations to become a professional player, hopes his strong short game will help him go a long way in North Carolina.
"My favourite part of golf is iron play and chipping and putting. I'm really excited about going to America," he said.
Jack Duffy pictured with his grandfather Mickey McCann.
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