GOLF: Rowan Lester claims North of Ireland title

Rowan Lester (Hermitage) staged a back nine fightback to win the Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush on Friday.

Friday, 14th July 2017, 9:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:30 am
Rowan Lester won the North of Ireland at Royal Portrush

Three down after seven and struggling for consistency off the tee, the 21-year-old, a student at Texas Wesleyann University, beat home favourite, Colin Fairweather (Knock) by two holes.

“I knew I was playing good.

“I knew that if I could keep it solid and not have any bogeys that I would get back,” said Lester.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“In matchplay, three is comfortable. Two or one up is never comfortable.

“I knew just to hang in there. I always like leading.

“When I go down I normally find it hard but today I knew I was going to come back.

“I didn’t necessarily think I would win but I knew I would get back and make it tight. I just had that feeling.

“It is great to win here and I am delighted to get my hands on the trophy,” he said.

Fairweather is waiting for surgery on his leg to address a varicose veins issue but refused to blame that for his defeat.

“I was never really on my ‘A’ game all week.

“I battled it around but I just fell short,” he said.

“With having a bad leg and not being on my game, I was happy to get this far and I enjoyed the golf,” he added.

RESULTS: Final: Rowan Lester bt Colin Fairweather 2 Holes;

Semi Final: Colin Fairweather bt Caolan Rafferty 1 Hole; Rowan Lester bt Alex Gleeson 19th;

Quarter Final: Colin Fairweather bt Derek Downie 2 Holes; Caolan Rafferty bt Darragh Coghlan 4&2; Alex Gleeson bt Paul Murphy 2&1; Rowan Lester bt Ronan Mullarney 3&1;

Round 3: Derek Downie bt JOHN MURPHY 3&1; Colin Fairweather bt Gareth Lappin 2 Holes; Darragh Coghlan bt Alan Fahy 1 Hole; Caolan Rafferty bt Ross Dutton 19th; Alex Gleeson bt Eugene Smith 3&2; Paul Murphy bt Finlay Mason 6&5; Ronan Mullarney bt Jonathan Yates 1 Hole; Rowan Lester bt Cian Geraghty 2 Holes.