GOLF: Robin Dawson claims Irish Amateur Open Championship title at Royal Counth Down

Robin DawsonRobin Dawson
Robin Dawson
'‹Robin Dawson went wire to wire to win the Flogas Irish Amateur Open Championship at Royal County Down

Dawson finished four strokes clear of the field on two under par after carding a final round of 77.

The 22-year-old began the day with a six-shot cushion and while it was plain sailing for much of the afternoon, he very nearly lost his grip on the tournament at the 15th where he ran up a triple bogey seven after sending his shot into the gorse.

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From what had seemed an unassailable position Dawson saw his lead halved from six to three.

Castle’s Alex Gleeson, playing alongside Dawson in the final group, was now in the picture but his hopes were dashed at 17 when he three putted his way to a double bogey.

Dawson was delighted to have finally got the job done.

“I can finally relax after four days. There have been a few sleepless nights the last couple of nights, and I am just relieved. That’s the word.”

The champion emerged from the moment of victory with mixed emotions. Elation was obvious and relief was palpable. This win has been a long time coming.

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“I have just been knocking on the door for so long,” said Dawson, who was Irish Boys Champion in 2013.

“I have so many top 10s in these championships, especially in match play. I have gotten to quarter-finals and semis and been beaten on the last or something like that.

“But even with stroke play qualifying I know I am always up there. It was nice to do it over four rounds, especially at a venue like Royal County Down.”

Dawson has been in command of this tournament from the first day. A superb opening round of 65 put him three clear and his position at the top was rarely threatened. England’s Alex Fitzpatrick, fourth overall on three over, briefly got within one shot during Saturday’s third round. Otherwise, Dawson has had it all his own way.

“I was basically comfortable until I got out ahead of it on 15 and hit a wayward shot but I am good at gathering myself.”