Galway golfer Joe Lyons claimed his first ever national individual title when he took home the Irish Senior Men’s Amateur Close Championship at Strandhill.
The Banagher native battled hard in the morning to cement his place in the decider and then he beat local, Serryth Heavey (County Sligo), comprehensively 5&4 in the final.
Tracy Eakin (Dooks) won the Irish Senior Women’s Amateur Close after a narrow 1up win against rival Laura Webb (Royal Portrush) in the final.
Adrian Morrow (Portmarnock) beat Jim McVeigh 4&3 in the Men’s Over-60s final and Ann Geoghegan defeated Margaret McAuliffe (Ballybunion) 5&3 in the Women’s Plate.
Lyons was thrilled to finally get over the line, on the back of some impressive form earlier this year in the Irish Senior Men’s Amateur Open and the European Seniors Amateur Open.
“It feels great, it’s the first national title at an individual level that I’ve ever won,” said Lyons.
“I’ve been relatively successful down through the years and won lots of nice things but I have never won a national title.
“Out of all of the rounds this week, I didn’t putt particularly well this morning but when it came down to the crunch I felt very comfortable standing over the putt on 18 in the semi-final.
“That was a difficult game, Pat really put it up to me and particularly the last two holes. He was two down with two to play and had an unbelievable up and down on 17.
“18 was playing really tricky and he was more or less stone dead in three, so it was nice to get it up and down from the back of 18 and hole that ten-footer to avoid going down 19.”
Heavey was the first golfer through to the senior men’s final, he beat Derek Basquill (Enniscrone) 4&3 in the Sligo derby during the more blustery morning conditions. Lyons joined him later after he holed a big putt to beat Patrick Madigan (Tramore) on the 18th green.
Webb advanced to the Women’s decider thanks to a 5&3 victory over the in-form Deirdre Smith (County Louth). Eakin got through via a 3&2 success at the expense of Maria O’Reilly (Headfort).
And in the final it went right down to the 18th hole where Eakin kept her composure to finally get the better of Webb.
“It’s nice to get one over Laura because she got one over me last year,” said Eakin.
“It’s the biggest thing I have won in a long time. I was out of the game for a while and then came back into the game. It’s the biggest win for, as I’d say 100 years, but it’s probably nearer to 40.
“Unfortunately, I don’t even have a lie in tomorrow because we are playing Senior Cup. I play for Killarney and we are playing against Limerick in the morning.
“So, no lie in and no big celebrations tonight.”