Eddie McCormack dedicated his European Senior Men’s Championship win to his father, Teddy, after a sensational two-shot win at Douglas Golf Club.
The Cavan native, who plays out of Galway Bay Golf Club, kept his cool down the home stretch to hold off the challenge of Alan Condren and, overnight leader, Jody Fanagan to register -6, in an Ireland dominated finish.
Alison Taylor’s (Malahide) win in the European Senior Ladies’ Championship was equally as impressive as she eagled the last before realising she had claimed the massive prize on offer. Taylor ended up just one shot clear of Charlotte Ödman (Sweden) and Sylvie Clausset (Belgium).
And for McCormack it was an emotional moment as he thought of his father who is in hospital in Dublin at the moment.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, I just wanted to come here and play well,” said McCormack.
“My father is 91, he fractured his hip the other night. I had that in the back of mind today, just got out there and give him a bit of good news, give him a bit of a boost.
“I was just going out today to do it for Teddy. I was going out to try my best, it’s all you can do.
“I didn’t actually know how I was going until I was over for the chip on the last hole. I asked one of the guys as I was going down to the green, what’s the state of play at the minute, he said you are one ahead.
“I just said, try and get up and down here, close it out and be done with it.”
Irish Senior Men’s Amateur winner Tom Etridge (England) made the most of the favourable conditions on Saturday morning as he shot up the leaderboard thanks to a wonderful 64, for a +3 total.
They were other players going low throughout the day but the winner was always likely to come from the tail end of the field.
Fanagan (Milltown) and Condren (Greystones) continued their battle in the last group but it was McCormack in the penultimate grouping that took the clubhouse lead.
Birdies on 13 and 16 gave him some vital momentum and when he got his chance on 18 he took it to secure a 67.
The finish in the Ladies’ event was even more dramatic with Taylor sinking three birdie putts on the back nine and despite a bogey on 17 she had the wherewithal to eagle the last and claim an unlikely success.
“I had no expectations because in August 2020 I had a very serious mountain bike accident, I had a shoulder reconstruction in Zurich Hospital and they told me I might never play golf again,” said Taylor.
“I just wanted to try and play well. I wore my red shirt for Munster to honour Douglas. For an Irish woman to win this is fantastic when it is located here.
“But it was so nip and tuck. Didn’t play great on the front nine and then I just got a few birdies on the back. And to finish it off with an eagle, I didn’t think that would score anything.
“I thought the two girls were duelling it out for winning so it was a complete surprise but wow, what a surprise.
“I didn’t have a caddie or anything out there and I was just going about my business and just saying it’s another round of golf, sometimes you play well and sometimes you don’t.
“Today somebody up there was looking after me. When I needed it, it came through for me.
“Absolute dream for my career.”