Nolan looking to right the wrongs of the West as he hunts glory in the South

Ronan MacNamara
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Liam Nolan (Galway) in action in the quarter-finals at the South of Ireland Championship at Lahinch Golf Club. (Image: Niall O'Shea)

Liam Nolan is hoping he can use what he learned from his West of Ireland final defeat earlier this year and go one better on Sunday after reaching the semi-finals of the South of Ireland in Lahinch. 

The Galway native lost out 2&1 to Alan Fahy in Rosses Point in what was deemed a home final with plenty of support but despite the gutting disappointment of losing in front of a packed support he feels he can use that experience to his advantage and finally get over the line in one of the major championships. 

“For sure yeah. I feel like at the West it was my first big time in a big crowd up from Galway and I have fantastic support here aswell. I was getting a bit excited about the West so just trying to keep my head down and keep concentrated until the match is over. That’s the big thing for me not letting myself get too excited too soon,’ explained Nolan who has added a top-10 at the English Amateur, a 14th at the St Andrews Links Trophy and a fourth at the North last week. 

“I suppose I played really well at the Europeans and fighting through being very tired at the moment and just trusting my swing. Yeah I’ve had a few good finishes now and just hoping to get over the line in one of them soon.” 

The NUIG student saw off 2009 champion Robbie Cannon in his quarter-final clash meaning there will be a new name on the trophy come Sunday evening and while he is battling fatigue after a hectic few weeks he feels the conditions have acted as a leveller. 

“It was tough. He is a great competitor always has been and always will be. I played very solid and the weather wasn’t great so if you play solid and make your fair share of birdies out there it’s going to be hard to be beaten and that’s what happened.” 

Nolan will renew acquaintances with fellow Irish teammate Peter O’Keeffe after the Douglas man beat four Irish internationals en route to the last four. The pair also met in the West of Ireland with Nolan getting the better of his Home Internationals colleague. 

It was a match O’Keeffe seemed to have the upper hand in until Nolan popped up with a birdie on the 18th to take the victory and he expects another close encounter. 

“At this stage there are no easy matches. I know Peter very well he’s a great player and no doubt we will have a good match.” 

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