Foley and Carew set for Close final

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Foley and Carew set for Close final

Hugh Foley (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Hugh Foley will have a chance to complete a historic hat-trick when he takes on Quentin Carew in this afternoon’s AIG Irish Amateur Close Championship final at Headfort Golf Club. 

Foley is bidding to become the first player to win the North, South and Irish Close titles in the same year since Darren Clarke in 1990. 

After playing 73 holes in the four rounds of matchplay, it seemed as if he was going to be set to go the distance ahead of his last four tie with Matt McClean who will probably feel, had it not been for Foley this year, that he would have his hands on at least one major. Yet his search for a maiden triumph will go on for another year at least. 

The Royal Dublin golfer was clinical and ruthless as he dispatched of his Malone opponent 3&2 and put out a statement over his baffling omission from the Irish Eisenhower Trophy side. 

Foley, who has been under-par for every round of matches, was five-under for the 16 holes and the damage was done on the front nine as he raced into a 5UP lead after seven holes. 

A mid-range par effort drew first blood on the opening hole before birdies on 3, 4, 6 and 7 saw him roar five clear at the turn. 

McClean rallied and birdies on 10 and 12 reduced the gap to just three holes before a fifth birdie on the 13th opened up a four hole gap for Foley. 

The deficit was three again after a dropped shot on the 14th from Foley but he matched McClean’s birdie on the par-5 16th to advance to the afternoon decider. 

While the 25-year-old is bidding to become the all conquering player in Ireland and enhance his Walker Cup ambitions, his opponent Carew is hoping to play the romantic card and complete a remarkable win. 

Castleknock golfer Carew showed his mettle once again as he beat Enniscorthy’s Paul Conroy by the minimum in a remarkably tight match that saw the back nine halved with nine straight pars. 

It has been a sensational run through the field from the Tallaght based Garda who qualified in 64th place at the eleventh hour before taking out leading qualifier and East of Ireland champion Alex Maguire in the opening round. 

His semi-final match with Conroy was nip and tuck from the off and despite never trailing, Carew was never more than a hole in front. 

It was a match where birdies won holes and fittingly Carew’s three birdies to Conroy’s two won the day with crucial gains being struck at the 2nd and 9th holes. 

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