Caldwell Irish Open bound as Robinson Thompson wins in Kells

Ronan MacNamara

Jonathan Caldwell (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Brandon Robinson Thompson capped off a life-changing month in his professional career as a closing four under par round of 67 at the Irish Challenge sealed a maiden victory at Headfort Golf Club.

The Englishman entered the final day two shots off the lead but carded five birdies and one bogey to climb to the top of the leaderboard on 12 under par, and win by two ahead of countryman Will Enefer and American Jordan Gumberg who shared second on ten under.

Robinson Thompson had received an invite to the Irish Challenge but has now secured his playing rights for next week’s British Challenge presented by Modest! Golf Management and beyond, and the victory was made sweeter with his fiancée by his side.


“It was exciting, fun and I felt privileged to be here this week,” he said. “It’s great to come out on top. I tried to remain patient, and it was amazing to have my fiancée on the bag this week and I think it really helped.

“It’s never straightforward on the final day but I just tried to take every shot as it comes. I tried to hit it, find it and hit it again. I have a game plan and I try to stick to that and then see where I end up at the end of the day. Luckily it paid off today.

“The course has been amazing. The greens have held up phenomenally and they were so pure. The fairways were lush all week and the rough is juicy. It was vital to hit fairways out there.”

The 30-year-old, who made the cut at last week’s 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club after coming through Final Qualifying, was delighted to cap off a memorable month with victory in Ireland.

“I’ve had an amazing few weeks,” he said. “It’s special to win my first Challenge Tour event and playing The Open last week was insane.

“I’m really enjoying my golf right now and long may it continue. I’ve got a long drive down to Cornwall in the morning but hopefully I can find time to celebrate tonight.”

Scotland’s Ryan Lumsden finished fourth on nine under par, while overnight leader Kristoffer Reitan, England’s Sam Bairstow, Swede Adam Blommé and Welshman Rhys Enoch were a shot further back in fifth.

Northern Irishman Jonathan Caldwell finished in a tie for ninth and picked up the Christy O’Connor Jnr Memorial Trophy for the leading Irishman. The 39-year-old has subsequently earned his spot in this year’s Horizon Irish Open at The K Club.

“Happy enough, at the start of the week I would have taken a result like that, given my recent form although I have been playing a little better. Top-10 and this is a nice reward, the Irish Open at the K Club will be a nice week for myself and my family.

“I’ve played three Irish Opens, the crowds are spectacular, Rory, Shane will be there and the field will be great with lots of hype around the place and it’s a really good exciting week ahead.

“I was in the final group a few weeks ago in France, didn’t play particularly great, I’m still learning a few things, still getting comfortable with some things I’m doing on the golf course.

“I played nicely from tee to green, if I held some more putts I’d have been there. I’m confident in my ball striking going forward.”

Robinson Thompson catapults 214 places to 35th in the Road to Mallorca Rankings and Enefer climbs into the top ten after his runner up finish in Kells. South African Casey Jarvis remains in pole position on 1,131 points, while Frenchman Ugo Coussaud is 150 points behind in second.

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