Warrenpoint golfer Colm Campbell believes winning a Pierse Motors South of Ireland Championship is one of the highlights of his career.
The two-time Flogas Irish Amateur Open champion battled hard all week and those qualities were never more evident than in the closing stages of this stunning 1up win over Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas) in the most testing conditions.
The 36-year-old was 2down standing on the 16th tee but much like yesterday in his quarter-final victory over Ryan Griffin, he settled himself. A bogey was enough to secure the win at the Par 3 16 and pars at 17 and 18 saw him secure a priceless victory.
“This is probably right up there,” said Campbell.
“I’ve been chasing a match play one for a long time now. I’ve had a few close calls and I definitely put that right up there with the Irish amateurs that I won, the two of them, so ya this is a special one.”
Campbell was the first player through to the final. Despite the conditions he played some of his best golf this week and shot -7 to win his semi-final 6&5 against Castleknock’s Paul Coughlan.
Later, O’Keeffe’s semi-final went all the way to 18. He trailed early but fought back to go one up through 11. Jack Hearn (Tramore) stuck tight but he fell on the final hole and the Corkman progressed with a 1up victory.
O’Keeffe, who lost last year’s decider against Hugh Foley, began fast and he birdied the first and parred the third, to secure a 2up lead.
Campbell was always chasing from there but he eventually began to make inroads late on, and he pounced on 16 before showing incredible composure up the final holes.
“From the word go from the match play, I started and I had six tough games, and you know I earned every one of them,” said Campbell.
“A lot of satisfaction, especially this season I didn’t probably play my best throughout the season. I was coming down here hitting the ball nicely and playing well and I said at the start if I can get the putter going, I won’t be too far away come Sunday.
“It was nice to get the job done there coming down 18. I hit some nice shots coming in there which probably put a little bit of pressure on Peter coming in.
“I feel sorry for big Peter, you know 2up with three to go, you know it’s never nice to lose in a manner in which ended up happening there. I know he’s been looking at this one himself for a while like myself, and I’m sure his time will come but just absolutely over the moon.
“I’ve been coming to the South for a long time and Paddy Keane and the guys here look after you so well when you get here.”