Doherty puts his priorities in order

CIARAN Doherty accepts that he will never be called up for England duty while he has to work for a living.

CAIRAN DOHERTY

CIARAN DOHERTY: Defending merit title

“I’d have to make it a full-time commitment and I can’t afford that,” said the 25-year-old Lancashire County player and Bury member.

“But I’ll still compete in all the national events such as the British Amateur, English Strokeplay and the Lytham Trophy.”

And there’s one target he’s firmly set his sights on – defending the Northern Order of Merit he won for the first time last year.

That would put him on course to try to equal the record of five titles matched two years ago by his pal Mark Young, who has since turned professional, and established by Garry Boardman in 1999.

“I won’t be able to play in all 29 fixtures but certainly the main ones including those qualifying for word ranking points,” pledged plus three ranked Doherty, who will again be a key player in the Lancashire side.

“I hope we can win the league again and qualify for the English County Finals,” he added.

He’s worked hard on sharpening his short game with Gareth Benson, one of the county coaches, at Astley Golf Academy during the winter and more recently with the Red Rose squad at Woodhall Spa.

This will be the first sponsorship of its kind in the UK by the Galvin Green brand that pioneered multi-layer golf clothing a decade ago and has strong commercial links with clubs on the Northern Order of Merit fixture list such as Royal Birkdale, Southport & Ainsdale, Formby and Mere.

The Swedish company are introducing a free App for the start of the season which opens with the Crosby Challenge Plate at West Lancs on April 12.

Meanwhile, the number of events qualifying for World Ranking points has increased to 10 with Stockport and Wilmslow joining the fold.

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