Nolan on Walker Cup radar after thrilling win in South American Amateur

Ronan MacNamara
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Liam Nolan (Image: Niall O'Shea)

Liam Nolan announced his Walker Cup credentials with a sensational come from behind win on a dramatic final day of the South American Amateur in Ecuador.

Nolan birdied the par-5 17th to set the clubhouse lead on seven-under before overnight leader Jose C Islas of Mexico double bogeyed the same hole to fall out of the lead.

The Galway man teed off with a seven shot deficit to chisel at and a four-under 68 was enough for him to take the title and earn his first win since winning an R&A Student Tour Series event in 2021.

Nolan who was included in the provisional 19-man Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup panel for this year needed a fast start and got it with birdies at 3, 4 and 7 propelling him into the mix.

The NUIG student birdied the par-3 13th as Islas began to falter with the Mexican dropping four shots in four holes from the tenth.

Nolan was tied with Islas and compatriot Max Kennedy with three holes to play after Kennedy dropped a shot on 15 and Islas recovered to birdie the same hole.

But Islas’s double on 17 proved fatal and with Royal Dublin’s Kennedy unable to find a birdie down the stretch he came up a shot shy on six-under after a one-over 73.

Kennedy who attends University in Louisville briefly held a share of the lead on -7 with Islas after twelve holes with Nolan a shot further back.

But it was Nolan’s day and after three top-5 finishes in Irish events last year he has finally got over the line and the 22-year-old will undoubtedly have caught the eye of Great Britain and Ireland captain Stuart Wilson ahead of September’s clash with the USA at St Andrews.

In the women’s section Called McGinty cruised to a three-shot win as Clodagh Coughlan led the Irish charge in 24th place with Kate Dwyer in 26th.

Both girls played the final round together.

Scoring HERE 

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