Hermitage’s Rowan Lester has continued Ireland’s rich history at the Nassau Invitational by becoming the sixth man from this country to triumph at the illustrious event in New York.
Lester follows in the footsteps of Darren Crowe who blazed a trail for Irish success in the competition when triumphing in 2004 with Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney (2007), Portstewart’s Paul Cutler (2009) and Naas clubmates, Jack Hume ’14 and Conor O’Rourke ’16 all enjoying famous wins thereafter.
Lester added his name to the list of Irish winners after qualifying with a three-over par 73 at Nassau Country Club before coming through the Match Play rounds to secure a timely title off the back of an injury disrupted season.
He broke his wrist in November 2018 and an injury that was only supposed to keep him out of action for six to eight weeks dragged on much longer than that, seriously impacting his playing ambitions across the Atlantic at college in Texas.
His place in the pecking order suffered at home too and although he reminded selectors of his obvious potential when ending the week as top points scorer at this year’s Interprovincial Championships, Lester missed out on a place in the Home Internationals line-up for Ireland at Lahinch.
Although victory at the Nassau doesn’t make up for lost time, it’s a timely reminder of an undeniable talent with a big future in store.
Robert Brazill, who also travelled to Long Island, finished in 22nd spot at eight-over.