Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint) is the Flogas Irish Men’s Amateur Open once again after overcoming Malone’s Matthew McClean in a sudden-death play-off at The Island Golf Club.
Having started the day one shot back from the overnight leader Robert Moran, Campbell took the lead early on when Moran made a costly double-bogey on the 3rd hole.
In the group ahead, McClean was making a run and with an eagle ‘3’ on the 10th hole and went to 4-under par for his round. Another birdie on the 13th saw him take a three shot advantage but a double bogey on 15 and bogey on 17 brought him back to the field, level with Campbell on 1-over total.
Two significant par-putt saves for Campbell on 17 and 18 meant a play-off would be necessary to determine the Champion.
Campbell has won the coveted trophy before, in 2016 at Royal Dublin. At the time he was playing a full-time amateur golf schedule and was competing internationally, but things have changed in the 6 intervening years.
“Yeah, it’s a bit of a different feeling to what it was in 2016, obviously I was playing a full-time schedule back then, expectations were a little bit different,” said the 35-year-old. “I knew I was playing well enough and I as I said last night, I wasn’t here to make up the numbers.”
Campbell had the honour on the play-off hole, hitting his tee-shot just into the left semi-rough. McClean pushed his drive to the right and unluckily had to then take an unplayable drop as the result of his poor lie.
“Matt caught a bad break which wasn’t great for him, but I just thought to myself, don’t do anything stupid,” continued Campbell. “I wanted to give myself a chance to make par and worst-case scenario make 5. I knew when he hit it in the bunker then he would have a tricky up and down but to be fair he hit a great shot, he’s a great player and if he keeps knocking on the door his turn will happen.”
Celebrations will be had back in Warrenpoint this evening, but Campbell’s priorities are also a little different these days.
“Unfortunately, I’ve to go to work in the morning and play a Barton Shield match tomorrow night! I’m delighted to get over the line though and look there’s still a little bit of golf in there yet. I’m a happy man!”
With Campbell and McClean taking gold and silver honours, Moran and Marc Boucher (Carton House) fished in 3rd and 4th respectively.