Lester crowned Cathedral Eye North of Ireland Champion

Bernie McGuire
Bernie McGuire

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After a slow start Rowan Lester clawed his way back from three down after six holes to capture the Cathedral Eye sponsored North of Ireland Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush.

The 21-year old beat Knock’s Colin Fairweather by two holes on the new look Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush.
Lester found himself three down early, losing the second to a par before hitting his approach through the green, out of bounds at the fifth. Fairweather then claimed the sixth with a par-three to leave Lester three down.
“I knew that if I could keep it solid and not have any bogeys that I would get back. especially with the change of weather on the back nine” Lester said.

The fightback started from the Hermitage man as he birdied the new look, par-five seventh to close the gap too two down through the turn. Lester then holed a crucial par putt on the 10th from 20 foot to stay 2 down and keep the pressure on.
“In match play, three up is comfortable. But two or one up is never comfortable. I knew just to hang in there. The putt on 10 was huge and kept me within touching distance”Lester added.

Bogeys from Fairweather at the 12th and 15th brought the two Irish internationals back to all square with three to go, and set up a grandstand finish.

Lester took the lead for the first time in the match as he won the 17th with a par and when Fairweather found sand with his approach to the final hole Lester turned the screw with a stunning iron shot into six feet. He holed the putt for Birdie and claimed the title by 2 holes.

Images of the day from the North of Ireland Amateur Open Championship sponsored by Cathedral Eye Clinic at Royal Portrush .Pictures: Golffile | Thos Caffrey

North of Ireland Amateur Open, Royal Portrush GC (Dunluce and Valley Links)

Final – July 14
Rowan Lester (Hermitage) bt Colin Fairweather (Knock) 2 holes

Semi-finals – July 14
Colin Fairweather (Knock) bt Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk)1 hole
Rowan Lester (Hermitage) bt Alex Gleeson (Castle) 19th

Quarter-finals – July 13
Colin Fairweather (Knock) bt Derek Downie (Kirkistown Castle) 2 holes
Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk) bt Darragh Coghlan (Portmarnock) 4/2
Alex Gleeson (Castle) bt Paul Murphy (Rosslare) 2/1
Rowan Lester (Hermitage) bt Ronan Mullarney (Galway) 3/1

Round three – July 13
Derek Downie (Kirkistown Castle) bt John Murphy (Kinsale) 3/1
Colin Fairweather (Knock) bt Gareth Lappin (Belvoir Park) 2 holes
Darragh Coghlan (Portmarnock) bt Alan Fahy (Dun Laoghaire) 1 hole
Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk) bt Ross Dutton (Tandragee) at 19th
Alex Gleeson (Castle) bt Eugene Smith (Laytown & Bettystown) 3/2
Paul Murphy (Rosslare) bt Finlay Mason (Moor Hall) 6/5
Ronan Mullarney (Galway) bt Jonathan Yates (Naas) 1 hole
Rowan Lester (Hermitage) bt Cian Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown) 2 holes

Round two – July 12
Derek Downie (Kirkistown Castle) bt Marc Norton (Belvoir Park) 6/5
John Murphy (Kinsale) bt Andrew Mulholland (Castlerock) 4/3
Gareth Lappin (Belvoir Park) bt Henry Young-alls (Notts) 4/3
Colin Fairweather (Knock) bt Alex Fitzpatrick (Hallamshire) 1 hole
Darragh Coghlan (Portmarnock) bt Hugh O’Hare (Fortwilliam) 5/4
Alan Fahy (Dun Laoghaire) bt Lukas Michel (Metropolitan, Aus) 1 hole
Ross Dutton (Tandragee) bt Cathal Butler (Kinsale) 1 hole
Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk) bt Dwayne Mallon (Dungannon) 6/4
Alex Gleeson (Castle) bt Michael Ryan Jnr (New Ross) 2 holes
Eugene Smith (Laytown & Bettystown) bt Gavin Fitzmaurice (Balcarrick) 2/1
Finlay Mason (Moor Hall) bt Gregory Royston (Cotswold Downs) 1 hole
Paul Murphy (Rosslare) bt Cathal Nolan (Galway) 3/2
Jonathan Yates (Naas) bt James Hewitt (Tandragee) 6/4
Ronan Mullarney (Galway) bt Neill Simpson (Kirkistown Castle) 8/7
Cian Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown) bt Aaron Kearney (Castlerock) 2 holes
Rowan Lester (Hermitage) bt Tyrone Clarke (Royal Portrush) 2/1

Round one – July 12
Derek Downie (Kirkistown Castle) bt Sean Flanagan (Co. Sligo) at 20th
Marc Norton (Belvoir Park) W/O James Sugrue (Mallow)
Andrew Mulholland (Castlerock) bt Colin Woodroofe (Dun Laoghaire) 19th
John Murphy (Kinsale) bt Kiet Van Der Weele (Rosendealsche) 1 Hole
Gareth Lappin (Belvoir Park) bt David McDonald (Old Conna) 2&1
Henry Young-alls (Notts) bt Jake Hapgood (Southerndown) 1 Hole
Alex Fitzpatrick (Hallamshire) bt Kyle McCarron (North West) 5&3
Colin Fairweather (Knock) bt Danny Cullen (Walton Heath) 3&2
Hugh O’Hare (Fortwilliam) bt Rody Haije (Goyer Golfclub) 4&3
Darragh Coghlan (Portmarnock) bt Jason Ackerman (Silverlakes) 5&4
Lukas Michel (Metropolitan, Aus) bt William Russell (Clandeboye) 4&2
Alan Fahy (Dun Laoghaire) bt Robert Brazill (Naas) 1 Hole
Cathal Butler (Kinsale) bt Andrew Clegg (Donaghadee) 2 Holes
Ross Dutton (Tandragee) bt Ryan Berkeley (Dun Laoghaire) at 20th
Dwayne Mallon (Dungannon) bt Evan Farrell (Ardee) 2&1
Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk) bt John McCarthy (Stackstown) 3&2
Alex Gleeson (Castle) bt Jake Whelan (Newlands) 1 Hole
Michael Ryan Jnr (New Ross) bt Marc McKinstry (Cairndhu) 2&1
Gavin Fitzmaurice (Balcarrick) bt Richard Knightly (The Royal Dublin) 4&2
Eugene Smith (Laytown & Bettystown) bt Jordan Hood (Galgorm Castle) 2&1
Gregory Royston (Cotswold Downs) bt John Gough (Wexham Park) 1 Hole
Finlay Mason (Moor Hall) bt Matthew Murphy (Clandeboye) 3&2
Paul Murphy (Rosslare) bt Peter Kerr (Royal Portrush) 3&1
Cathal Nolan (Galway) bt Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene) 2&1
Jonathan Yates (Naas) bt Jamie Sutherland (Galgorm Castle) 4&3
James Hewitt (Tandragee) bt Ben Murray (Waterford Castle) 5&3
Neill Simpson (Kirkistown Castle) bt Patrick Brennan (Belvoir Park) at 19th
Ronan Mullarney (Galway) bt Matthew McClean (Matfen Hall) at 19th
Aaron Kearney (Castlerock) bt Jamie Stothers (Tandragee) 6&4
Cian Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown) bt Eoin Leonard (Wentworth/Killiney) 1 up
Tyrone Clarke (Royal Portrush) bt Stefan Greenberg (Tandragee) at 20th
Rowan Lester (Hermitage) bt Graeme Arthur (Carrickfergus) 4&3
Strokeplay Qualifying

Live scoring

After 36 holes

133 C Rafferty (Dundalk) 68 65

134 H O’Hare (Fortwilliam) 66 68

136 R Brazill (Naas) 65 71, R Lester (Hermitage) 64 72

137 R Berkeley (Dun Laoghaire) 69 68, E Leonard (Wentworth/Killiney) 67 70

138 F Mason (Moor Hall) 70 68, J Hapgood (Southerndown) 68 70, C Woodroofe (Dun Laoghaire) 68 70, K van Der Weele (Rosendealsche) 67 71, C Fairweather (Knock) 66 72, G Royston (Cotswold Downs) 66 72, G Fitzmaurice (Balcarrick) 66 72, R Mullarney (Galway) 65 73, J Hood (Galgorm Castle) 65 73, J Hewitt (Tandragee) 73 66,

139 A Kearney (Castlerock) 69 70, L Michel (Metropolitan, Aus) 69 70, D Coghlan (Portmarnock) 68 71, N Simpson (Kirkistown Castle) 69 70,

140 M McKinstry (Cairndhu) 71 69, G Lappin (Belvoir Park) 69 71, J Sugrue (Mallow) 68 72, K McCarron (North West) 66 74, P Murphy (Rosslare) 66 74,

141 T Clarke (Royal Portrush) 69 72, E Farrell (Ardee) 69 72, J Yates (Naas) 67 74, C Butler (Kinsale) 66 75, D Mallon (Dungannon) 66 75,

142 S Greenberg (Tandragee) 69 73, P Kerr (Royal Portrush) 69 73, A Fitzpatrick (Hallamshire) 69 73, M Norton (Belvoir Park) 69 73, M Ryan Jnr (New Ross) 68 74, B Murray (Waterford Castle) 67 75, J Ackerman (Siler Lakes) 67 75,

143 M Murphy (Clandeboye) 75 68, A Mulholland (Castlerock) 74 69, P Brennan (Belvoir Park) 73 70, W Russell (Clandeboye) 70 73, S Flanagan (Co. Sligo) 69 74, R Knightly (The Royal Dublin) 69 74, H Young-Alls (Notts) 68 75,

144 J Stothers (Tandragee) 74 70, C Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown) 73 71, A Clegg (Donaghadee) 73 71, R Dutton (Tandragee) 71 73, A Gleeson (Castle) 70 74, J Gough (Wexham Park) 70 74, D McDonald (Old Conna) 70 74, J Murphy (Kinsale) 70 74, E Smith (Laytown & Bettystown) 68 76, M McClean (Matfen Hall) 68 76, A Fahy (Dun Laoghaire) 68 76, T McLarnon (Massereene) 67 77,

145 R Haije (Goyer Golf Club) 76 69, J McCarthy (Stackstown) 75 70, G Arthur (Carrickfergus) 74 71, J Whelan (Newlands) 72 73, D Downie (Kirkistown Castle) 73 72, J Sutherland (Galgorm Castle) 72 73, D Cullen (Walton Heath) 71 74, C Nolan (Galway) 71 74,


146 O Crooks (Bushfoot) 76 70, S Carter (The Royal Dublin) 74 72, R O’Connor (Co. Sligo) 74 72, J Walsh (Castle) 73 73, A Doran (Ardee) 72 74, J Hickey (Cork) 71 75, S Bleakley (Shandon Park) 68 78, D Foy (Laytown & Bettystown) 67 79,

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