BANGOR – As a pre-teen in Dublin, Ireland, Cian Curley was a multi-sport athlete. Gaelic football, soccer, field hockey, you name it, he played it. But then another sport came calling, and as it turned out, it was his calling.
Fast-forward to 2017, and at age 31, he is on top of his game.
“I’m playing the best golf I ever have right now,” said Friday after the second round of the Greater Bangor Open. “For sure.”
Curley is in the clubhouse after two rounds tied for eighth place at 8-under par. He shot a 63 Thursday, the best round of his life as a professional, which put him in first place. But slow greens led to more putts Friday, meaning he will be chasing going into the final round. Yet all of this would have seemed unlikely not long ago.
After a large amount of success as an amateur, including an appearance in the European Tour’s Irish Open in 2010, Curley turned professional in 2011. Since turning pro though, he has struggled both on and off the course, and would ultimately take a sabbatical from playing about two years ago.
“You go searching for improvements. If you don’t get it right, you can go down a little hole. You see it happen to a lot of players, and that’s what happened to me.”
Curley then packed up and traveled west, settling in Naples, Florida. He would spend the next year and a half sorting through personal issues and clearing his head in order to play.
“I almost fell out of love with the game a little bit. But since I made the move over here, other things have changed in my life. And I’m more set now, and I think that’s definitely contributed to how I’m playing on the course.”
He returned to competitive action this April, and has spent the past several months playing in different opens up and down the east coast and throughout New England. He’s enrolling in the Web.com Tour qualifying school, and hopes to play on the tour by next year. For now though, he has his eyes locked on a title in Bangor. And that would be the first step in solidifying his big comeback.
“Really, all I’m looking for now is to just get that win,” Curley said. “I actually haven’t won a full event since I’ve been a professional. It’s been seven years since I won a tournament. So I’m really missing that winning feeling. And I’m hungry for it.”