Close champion Cormac is one cool customer

Cormac Sharvin (Ardglass) celebrates with his caddy Brian Martin after holing his birdie putt on the 18th green to win the AIG sponsored Irish Amateur Close Championship at Connemara Golf Club  Picture by Pat Cashman

Cormac Sharvin (Ardglass) celebrates with his caddy Brian Martin after holing his birdie putt on the 18th green to win the AIG sponsored Irish Amateur Close Championship at Connemara Golf Club
Picture by Pat Cashman

Cormac Sharvin’s recent Irish Close victory was notable not simply because he managed to hold off the in-form Paul Dunne (Greystones), but also because of the manner in which he held himself together under pressure.
Unlike his opponent, who won the East of Ireland Championship at the start of the month, Cormac was in uncharted territory at Connemara GC but his nerveless performance left a lasting impression on those watching on from the sidelines.
The 20-year-old, who led qualifying, breezed into an early lead in the final against Dunne but was pegged back and was forced to hole a 10-foot putt on the last to be crowned national champion.
“I had never been in that situation before but I suppose you could say I was in ‘the zone’,” said Sharvin who has just completed his first year at Sterling University.
“I was surprised myself that I dealt with it so well. The more the pressure came on, the better I performed. Even when Paul holed his birdie putt on the last, I was prepared for that. There was a big Greystones contingent down watching and the place went mad.

“I just stood over mine and basically thought to myself that it was nice for him to hole it because it had set up the stage. I said to myself, ‘if I hole this I will remember it for the rest of my life’ and thankfully it went in.”

A former hurler, who only committed to golf five years ago, Cormac claims he was in a ‘weird place’ all week but added that he was able to rely on techniques he has learned from Sterling coach, former European Tour player Dean Robertson.
“We have been doing a lot of work on process,” added the Ardglass golfer.
“It’s about staying in the moment, taking it one shot at a time and not getting ahead of myself. When I was three up playing 13 against Paul, I was telling myself to stay focused and take it one shot at a time.
“I use a trigger. Before I hit a shot I visualise it and then hit it. After that, I give myself a score out of five about how committed I was to the shot. It helps you accept bad shots, all you can do it commit to it, after that you have no control.”
Cormac has joined the likes of Reeve Whitson (Mourne) and Dermot McElroy (Ballymena) in the British Amateur Championship field this week at Royal Cinque Ports and Prince’s in Kent.
He plans to play in the North of Ireland Amateur Championship, the Ulster Youths at Ardglass and the European Individual Amateur Championship in Barcelona.
He continued, “One of my goals at the start of the year was to win a national event. Hopefully, now that I have done, that I can fulfil the other two ambitions – play in the inter-provincials and represent Ireland in the Home Internationals.”

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