Posts Tagged ‘Colin Fairweather’

Campbell comes through – again – as Ireland claim record breaking Home International success

August 19, 2017

Ulster members of the victorious record winning Irish Home International Golf team arrive at Dublin Airport. (l-r) John Ross Galbraith (Whitehead), John White (Team Manager, Co Armagh) Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint) and Colin Fairweather (Knock). Picture by Pat Cashman.

Ireland celebrated another success at the Home Internationals and made history by winning their fourth successive title.
No Irish team has gone this deep before. A tie with England on the final day at Moortown ensured that Tony Goode’s team collected the Raymond Trophy yet again, writing their names in the record books as the first Irish side to retain the title for the third year running.
Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint), John Ross Galbraith (Whitehead) and Robin Dawson (Tramore) have the distinction of playing on all four winning teams.
Campbell has become Ireland’s anchorman and having delivered the decisive point in 2016, Colm found himself in the same position again.
This time the situation looked bleak. Having lost the first four holes, Campbell went five down at the sixth against Jake Burnage.
“All I was thinking at that stage was making sure not to get a dog licence,” said Campbell. Having clawed back two holes before the turn, there was hope.
In fact, he won three holes on the bounce – 9, 10 and 11 – to turn the match around. By now, things were getting tight for Ireland after a mixed afternoon.
A three-point haul from the foursomes gave Ireland an edge but England battled back in the singles.
Matthew Jordan rescued a half against Paul McBride at the top of the order while Daniel Brown, Will Whiteoak, Josh Hilleard and Bradley Moore put more red on the board.
Conor O’Rourke, Caolan Rafferty and Colin Fairweather secured valuable points for Ireland to keep the four-in-a-row dream alive. When Alex Gleeson halved with Todd Clements, it meant that the outcome of the Campbell’s match would determine everything.
All square playing 17, Campbell knew that his side needed at least a half.
“I hit probably the best shot of my life,” said Campbell, describing his six iron approach from 192 yards.
Three foot from the pin, his birdie was all but secure and when Burnage failed to save par from the bunker, Campbell went ahead.
That meant Ireland could not be beaten. More to the point, it meant that Ireland would be crowned champions.
“It was another special week with the lads,” said Campbell.
“I know it came down to my match but everybody played their part. It really was a great team effort.”

Copy courtesy of GUI

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

July 19, 2017

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.

Rowan Lester finds key to success at North of Ireland Amateur Championship

July 15, 2017

Rowan Lester (Hermitage) winner of the North of Ireland Amateur Open Championship sponsored by Cathedral Eye Clinic at Royal Portrush Golf Club with (l-r) David McMullan (Capt. Royal Portrush), Eamonn O’Connor (Chairman GUI Ulster Branch) and Andrew Spence (Cathedral Eye Clinic).
Picture: Golffile | Thos Caffrey

Rowan Lester (Hermitage) staged a back nine fightback to win the Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush on Friday.
Three down after seven and struggling for consistency off the tee, the 21-year-old 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 Rowan who fired a course record 64 (-7) on the Valley Links during qualifying.
“In match play, 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.”
A student at Texas Wesleyann University, Rowan found himself out of position off the tee on a number of occasions but superb up and downs on the ninth and 10th, kept him in touch with Fairweather as bad weather closed in around the final.
“Nine and 10 were key. If I had lost those holes it was game over basically,” he added.

“I kept laying up to a number that I like. I did the same on 12, hit a really good shot into seven feet. Winning that hole was big.”

Rowan Lester lines up a putt on the eighth green

Fairweather still led by one at that stage but the momentum was clearly with Lester and he pressed on.
He added; “I got a big half on 14. It’s always a tough shot into the green. I was completely out of position but from there I didn’t miss a shot.
“I said to myself standing on the 15th tee, ‘if I can play the last four in level par I will win’.”
He levelled matters at the 15th with a par to Fairweather’s dropped shot, halved the 16th, won the 17th to go ahead for the first time and wrapped up the match in style with a fine approach to the home green.
A beaten finalist in the 2015 South of Ireland Championship, Fairweather was left to rue a missed opportunity.
“I was playing well at the start and had it going straight off the tee then he got the momentum coming through on the 12th,” said Colin.
“When he won that hole and was able to get on the tee ahead of me he was then able to get into his rhythm which I found hard to cope with.

“I was never really on my A game all week. I battled around all week but I just fell short.”

Colin is waiting for surgery to treat varicose veins and was feeling the effects as the week wore on but refused to blame that for defeat.
“I noticed it at the start of the season and as the summer has worn on it has got more achy,” said the 26-year-old.
“It is such a weird thing to have but I got an injection and I got a stocking on it at the start of the week that took most of the pain away. It’s not an excuse.”

Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Amateur Championship match play results

Fairweather digs deep to reach last four at North of Ireland while Gleeson loses his head

July 14, 2017

Alex Gleeson gets ready to tee off on the eighth

Knock’s Colin Fairweather battled some bad weather and an on-going leg injury to reach the semi-finals of the Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Championship yesterday.
The 26-year-old Irish International is suffering from circulation problems and needed an injection just to make the first tee on Monday. As a precaution, he opted not to play any practice rounds and after starting slowly, he has worked his way into the tournament.
On Thursday he beat Gareth Lappin (Belvoir Park) and then Derek Downie (Kirkistown Castle) to set up a last-four meeting with leading qualifier Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk GC).
“I finally holed a few putts there which was a help for the confidence going around,” said Fairweather.
“The putting in qualifying was fine but you know what it’s like, each day can be different.
“On the first day I struggled with my whole game. It was only my ‘B’ or ‘C’ game.

“I am slowly getting the confidence back and finding a way to get it around. It’s coming together.”

His opponent this morning, Caolan Rafferty, got a scare in the last 16 yesterday when he was taken to the 19th by Tandragee’s Ross Dutton. The Dundalk man didn’t make the same mistake in the last eight, beating Darragh Coghlan (Portmarnock) 4&2.
“We both got off to a slow start, then picked up a wee bit but the rain swept in which doesn’t allow for any good golf,” said the 24-year-old.
“My bad golf was better than Darragh’s bad golf. I think we can agree on that one.

“It was a struggle this afternoon. Some of it was tired golf and the rest was the elements. I will try and get the feet up this evening and get ready for the morning.”

The other semi-final this morning will see Alex Gleeson (Castle) take on Rowan Lester (Hermitage).
If Gleeson does win the title he will have to do it without an eight iron after the club broke mid round in his 2&1 victory over Paul Murphy (Rosslare) yesterday afternoon.
“I was playing the 13th and the head of my club flew off at impact and landed in a bush,” said Alex, the reigning Irish Close Champion.
“I couldn’t find it, but it shouldn’t be too much problem to get around it tomorrow using a seven or nine iron.”
Lester proved too strong for Ronan Mullarney (Galway) in the final match of the day, winning 3&1.
A student at Texas Wesleyan University, he wasn’t happy with his morning display in beating Cian Geraghty (Laytown/Bettystown) 2&1.
“I was struggling a bit with the long game. I wasn’t committing to the shots but I did that better this afternoon,” he said.
The semi-finals get underway this morning at 8.30am.

Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Amateur Championship match play scoring

RESULTS
Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Championship at Royal Portrush
Round 3: D Downie (Kirkistown Castle) bt J Murphy (Kinsale) 3&1; C Fairweather (Knock) bt G Lappin (Belvoir Pk) 2 holes; D Coughlan (Portmarnock) bt A Fahy (Dun Laoghaire) 1 hole; C Rafferty (Dundalk) bt R Dutton (Tandragee) at 19th’; A Gleeson (Castle) bt E Smith (Laytown & Bettystown) 3&2; Paul Murphy (Rosslare) bt F Mason (Moor Hall) 6&5; R Mulranny (Galway) bt J Yates (Naas) 4&2; R Lester (Hermitage) bt C Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown) 2 holes.
Quarter-finals: Fairweather bt Downie 2 holes; Rafferty bt Coughlan 4&2; Gleeson bt Murphy2&1; Lester bt Mullarney 3&1.

Rafferty stays on course to claim North of Ireland title

July 13, 2017


Leading qualifier, Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk GC), eased into the last 16 of the Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Championship at Royal Portrush yesterday (Wednesday).
The 24-year-old beat John McCarthy (Stackstown) 3&2 and then Dwayne Mallon (Dungannon) 6&4 to set up a meeting with Ross Dutton (Tandragee GC) this morning (Thursday).
Rafferty wasn’t particularly happy with his play in beating McCarthy yesterday morning but composed himself to take care of Mallon in the afternoon.
“I made a good start and was three up after nine. I was pretty steady, did nothing too fantastic,” he said.
“I was brutal in the morning match but I didn’t think about it this afternoon. That is something I am trying to get better at. That’s the thing about match-play, everything is up for grabs on the first tee.”
Irish international Colin Fairweather (Knock) will face Belvoir Park’s Gareth Lappin this morning in the only all-Ulster clash of the last 16.
Lappin, a student at Michigan State University, was relatively untroubled in seeing off Englishman Henry Young-Alls yesterday afternoon by 4&3. Two up after nine, Gareth halved the 10th, 11th and 12th before birdies at the 13th and 14th set up the win with a par on 15.
“The form is alright considering I’ve played very little,” said the 22-year-old.

“I played in the East of Ireland and the Interprovincials for Ulster. I think this is the furthest I have got in this event. I’ve been knocked out in the second round a couple of times.”

Fairweather, meanwhile, just about managed to beat England’s Alex Fitzpatrick to set up the clash with Lappin.Trailing by two holes at the turn, he edged ahead for the first time on 16th courtesy of a 30 foot birdie putt and hung on to win one-up.
“That putt on the 16th was the turning point. I have been a bit up and down this season,” said the 26-year-old who is nursing a knee problem.
“I had a good result at the Brabazon Trophy and made the cut at both the Spanish Amateur and the Irish Amateur Open at Royal County Down.”
Late in the day, home favourite, Tyrone Clarke, was beaten 2&1 by Rowan Lester (Hermitage).

Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Amateur Championship scoring

O’Keeffe produces professional display to win Irish Amateur Championship at RCD

May 15, 2017

Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas) winner of the Flogas Irish Amateur Open Championship at Royal County Down Golf Club. Picture by Pat Cashman

Cork’s Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas GC) showed the value of experience as he eased to a three-shot victory at the Flogas Irish Amateur Championship on Sunday.
A patient approach around Royal County Down paid off for the former professional as he closed with a two over par 73 to finish three shots ahead of Scotland’s Christopher MacLean and England’s Tom Sloman.
“I am absolutely delighted. I had a feeling I was going to win something big this season,” said the 35-year-old.
“It feels fantastic. It was tough to keep my emotions in check there going up the last and it was nice to have a few shots to lean on. It hasn’t sunk in yet.”

O’Keeffe made six visits to the European Tour Q-school before reapplying for his amateur status at the end of 2013. He was then forced to sit out a two-year eligibility period and returned to the amateur game in 2016.
“It was tough. I always knew that I was going to be competitive at some level again. It wasn’t a case of retiring,” he added.
“My problem was that I never had the financial structure to plan a professional career. I still believe that I have a good game to bring me to a certain level. It’s nice to get a title like this to reaffirm that.”
And while his professional career may not have gone as planned, the experience gained was put to good use as he plotted his way around the Championship course.
“I don’t get flustered on a golf course anymore. When I was on tour, I had a buddy in Dave Connolly caddying for me, and he will tell you that was our big thing,” he said.

“There were times when I’d be ripping gloves off my hand on the golf course. Crazy stuff. I have done a complete full circle on that. But that took a lot of work. It took a long time and a lot of bad experiences to realise that was the way forward.

Marc Norton (Belvoir Park)

“I remember playing with Simon Thornton in my very first tour school, and we were playing in horrendous conditions. I got through but he cruised through, and that was the unflappable attitude that I wanted to get.”
Peter began Sunday’s final 18 holes one shot ahead of MacLean and two shots ahead of Belvoir Park’s Marc Norton and England’s Matthew Jordan. He played the front nine in level par 35 and turning for home, had extended his advantage to four shots.
A birdie at the 11th extended his lead to five before his only wobble of the day at 15th when he managed to four-putt.
“Yes I felt pressure, I lost concentration on the 15th green but I ground out a par on the next hole and then I just cruised in really,” he added.
Norton’s challenge was effectively ended on the ninth when he walked off with a quadruple bogey eight. The 19-year-old eventually signed for a 12 over 72 that saw him finish in a share of 39th.
Defending champion, Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint), who opened with a disastrous eight over par 79, battled back to end the tournament tied for 30th alongside Colin Fairweather (Knock) on 12 over par.

Sutton strikes blow for working amateurs at North of Ireland Championship

July 17, 2015
Royal-Portrush-Golf-Club

Royal Portrush GC

Lurgan’s David Sutton struck a blow for the working amateur by reaching the semi-finals of the Cathedral Eye sponsored North of Ireland Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush yesterday.
The 34-year-old father of two held off 19-year-old Rowan Lester (The Hermitage) to set up an all-Ulster meeting with reigning Irish Close Champion, John Ross Galbraith (Whitehead).
In weather conditions that worsened throughout the day, Sutton’s experience and relaxed approach helped him stem an early onslaught before gradually working his way back into the tie.
“I played good in the rain. Sometimes I don’t play so well in the rain but I managed to hole a couple of decent putts. I knew I had to, he was doing nothing wrong, he is a class wee player,” said Sutton, an export sales manager for local golf firm MD Golf.
The Lockerbie native, a North of Ireland semi-finalist in 2011, was two down after six but won the seventh and ninth in regulation pars to turn for home all square.
Lester, beaten in the final of the British Boys Amateur last year, responded immediately with birdies at the 10th and 11th but once again Sutton showed no signs of panic.
He clawed another hole back at the 12th, lost the 13th but birdied the 14th and 15th to level matters with three holes remaining.
The 16th and 17th were halved in par and then, with both players in trouble off the tee, Sutton somehow managed to salvage a par to win the tie, rolling in a par putt from 15 feet on the last.
A former Scottish international, Sutton’s work and family commitments keep his championship appearances to a minimum these days. The North of Ireland tournament doubles as a family holiday and he admits it is a hard balancing act.
“I love coming up to the ‘North’ because if the golf doesn’t work out it is a great wee holiday. My mum and dad are here. My Dad – Brian – always caddies for me as well,” said David.

“We have been very busy in work this last few months and then when you get home you spend time with the kids so I don’t get to practise or play that much.”

On a day which saw a number of the favourites lose out, amongst them Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint), Robin Dawson (Faithlegg) and Dermot McElroy (Ballymena), Sutton had earlier edged out leading qualifier Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock) in the last 16 by a single shot.
Galbraith also found things more taxing yesterday and was forced to dig deep to see off Knock’s Colin Fairweather in the last 16. One down through 16, John Ross, chipped in for eagle at the par five 17 and then birdied the 18th to eventually edge home by a single hole.
His quarter-final against Ronan Mullarney (Galway) was nip and tuck over the opening nines holes before he took charge around the turn, eagling the 10th to go one up and chipping in at the 11th to extend that lead.
Mullarney dragged one back on the 12th, the 13th was halved in pars before Galbraith bagged a two at the 14th firing a four iron in 10 feet. The 15th was halved in par fours and then Mullarney found trouble at the 16th and eventually conceded the hole.
Today’s second semi-final pitts Gary Collins (Rosslare) against Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk) who claimed the biggest scalp of his career in beating McElroy by one hole in the last eight.
“I was two down after five. I had been hitting it well all week and then I started off by hitting it sideways!” said the 22-year-old.
“I’m delighted to get as far as I did. To take out Dermy, he wasn’t at his best, neither of us played great but I just dug in a bit better. To take out someone like that is big, sure I’m a nobody.”

North of Ireland Amateur Championship
Sponsored by Cathedral Eye Clinic
At Royal Portrush
Today
JR Galbraith v D Sutton
G Collins v C Rafferty
Final – 12.30pm

Results
Round Three
S Coulter lost to R Dawson 19th; G Collins bt C Campbell 2&1; C Rafferty bt F Mason 5&3; D McElroy bt W Hanna 3&2; JR Galbraith bt C Fairweather 1hole; R Mullarney bt P McBride 19th; D Sutton bt G Lenehan 1hole; R Lester bt D Holland 3&2
Quarter-final
G Collins bt Dawson 3&2; C Rafferty bt D McElroy 1hole; JR Galbraith bt R Mullarney 3&2; D Sutton by R Lester 1hole