Fairweather bounces back from North of Ireland defeat to book place in NI Open

Paul Hughes, Captain Galgorm Castle Golf Club, Valerie Penney, Specsavers Ballymena, Colin Fairweather, NI Amateur Open champion 2017 and John Carruthers, Honorary Secretary Galgorm Castle Golf Club

Knock’s Colin Fairweather came out on top of a three-way playoff to win the 36-hole Northern Ireland Amateur Open sponsored by Specsavers Ballymena.
The 26-year-old birdied the first extra hole at Galgorm Castle to beat Thomas Mulligan (Laytown & Bettystown) and former winner, Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene GC).
In doing so, the 26-year-old, earned a place in the field alongside the professionals at the Galgorm Resort & Spa Northern Ireland Open, Presented by Modest! Golf (Aug 10-13).
“I just wanted to win. I wasn’t really thinking about the chance of playing in the NI Open,” said Colin who lost out to Rowan Lester (Hermitage) in the final of the North of Ireland Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush.
“I didn’t get it last week, but I got that winning feeling again today. It didn’t matter where it was or what tournament it was in. I just wanted to win something, especially after last week when I finished runner-up at Royal Portrush.

“It took me a wee while to get over that so it was great to bounce back so quickly. I’ve always wanted to play in the Challenge Tour event as well, so this win meant an awful lot to me.”

Thomas Mulligan

Colin was leading by one playing the final hole when he lost his ball off the tee. He eventually made a bogey six at the par-five to force his way into the playoff alongside McLarnon and Mulligan.
“It was really tough today, even though the weather was perfect. They have let the rough grow up with the Challenge Tour event in mind,” added Colin.
“I felt I had the advantage on the hole because I was the longest off the tee. I was determined to stay aggressive, you only have one shot at a playoff.”
The trio went back down the 18th and Colin didn’t make the same mistake in sudden death, hitting a long drive down the fairway before firing a seven-iron onto the green to set up a two-putt birdie from 20 feet.
McLarnon missed a five-footer for his birdie, while Mulligan lost a ball off the tee, and though he still managed a par, it was Fairweather who took the spoils.
While Mulligan lost out in the playoff, the 17-year-old had already secured the second NI Open place up for grabs courtesy of Modest! Golf’s invite for the leading under-18 player.
“It’s great, I came here to secure the under-18 invite and massive thanks to Modest! Golf for the opportunity,” said the Leinster player, who also represented GB&I in the Jacques Leglise Trophy in 2016.
“I had a poor second round but am delighted to have earned my place in the NI Open and I can’t wait to play here again in a few weeks.”
Entry to the NI Open is free, simply register online at http://www.niopen.golf.
This year’s event introduces the exciting new Shootout Sunday knockout format, which is sure to provide plenty of drama for the players and spectators.

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