19th May 2019
James NEWTON (ENG), from the Prestbury G.C. in Cheshire, England, has won the 2019 Irish Amateur Open Championship at County Sligo G.C.
James Newton (Photo: Pat Cashman Photography / @GUIGolf)
Entering the event Newton was ranked 1,879th in the SPWAR and 2,710th in the WAGR so a victory of this magnitude has to be considered a major surprise.
He recorded rounds of 66, 66, 69 and 74 for a 275 -9 total.
Not surprisingly he started and finished a little nervously today but having settled down he played very nicely between holes 4 and 14, where he was 4 under par, to ensure he completed the job with some ease. After a triple bogey on the par 3 16th he showed good composure to par his final two holes.
“It’s nice to have a win early on in the season,” Newton said in an interview with the Golf Union of Ireland afterwards. “One of my goals was to win a 72 hole event, I’ve ticked that off quite early. I need to go back and re-evaluate my goals now. I changed coach last October and moved to Peter Barber at Didsbury Golf Club. The good has always been good enough and he has made the bad a lot better”.
James Newton’s Complete Scorecard (Photo: GUI / Golfbox)
Sadly earlier this week he failed to qualify for the Brabazon Trophy at the Lindrick Qualifier and with the above rankings has currently not made the grade for either the St. Andrews Links Trophy or The Amateur Championship. Hopefully a ‘Committee Exemption’ can be found to get him into some or all of these events in the next few weeks.
Conor PURCELL (IRE) 280 -4 finished 2nd 5-shots back. It was another excellent result for GB&I’s number 1 player, particularly coming after his missed cut at Lytham.
Josh MCMAHON (ENG), recent winner of the Lytham Trophy, also continued his good form with a tied 7th finish on +2.
The best Round 4 came from the Italian International Amateur champion Brandon DIETZEL (GER) who shot a bogey free 67. He rose 39 places to finish alongside McMahon in the Top 10.
The average score on Day 4 was 74.53 with the majority of the players again going backwards.
The Irish Amateur Open Final Results (Photo: GUI / Golfbox)
View the Full Results here – 2019 Irish Amateur Open Results
18th May 2019
Overnight leader James NEWTON (ENG) showed no sign of nerves on Day 3. His 69 lifted him to -12 and extended his lead to 5 shots heading into tomorrow’s final round.
Scoring proved to be much tougher in Round 3 with cloudier and windier conditions finally allowing County Sligo to take some revenge on the field. The average score rising to 76.26, nearly four shots higher than in both of the opening two rounds.
With 18 holes to play tomorrow Ronan MULLARNEY (IRE) is 2nd on -7 and Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) -6 3rd.
Mark POWER (IRE) benefitted from an early tee time to post a 68 (-3), the best score of the day. Like Marc Hammer yesterday he finished with an eagle 2 on the short 18th. As a result he rose 65 places to tied 28th on moving day.
Conor PURCELL‘s (IRE) consistent play, rounds of 70, 69 and 69 to date, has seen him creep up the leaderboard each day; he’s now up to tied 4th on -5. He should theoretically be able to play with a bit more freedom than his peers tomorrow so could easily mount a challenge.
Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) shot a 1-over 72 today to finish the round on -5 for the tournament. He now sits alongside Purcell in tied 4th.
The top 50 and ties cut fell at +6 with 56 players progressing.
17th May 2019
James NEWTON (ENG) shot a second successive 66 at the Irish Amateur Open to move into the lead on -10. In an almost identical round to yesterday he recorded one eagle (again on the 12th), four birdies and a bogey.
Ronan MULLARNEY (IRE) unsurprisingly found golf a little harder on Day 2 after the heroics of yesterday. His 72 (+1) saw him finishing Round 2 in 2nd place overall.
The best round of the day came from Marc HAMMER (GER) who shot a 7-under 64. The icing on the cake coming with a holed wedge on his final hole. Marc moved to -7 and will start tomorrow in 3rd.
Marc Hammer’s Round 2 Scorecard (Photo: GUI / Golfbox)
Five players are tied 4th for the Championship on -6. Keith EGAN (IRE) 66, Robert MORAN (IRE) 68, Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) 69, Koen KOUWENAAR (NED) 69 and Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) 69 all played their way into contention in Round 2.
It’s worth recording the consistency to date of both Moran and Edwards-Hill. They have both just bogeyed one hole over the first 36 holes on the testing County Sligo course.
Lytham Trophy winner Josh MCMAHON (ENG) is tied 9th after a 65 (-6) lifted him 50 places up the leaderboard.
Josh McMahon’s Round 2 Scorecard (Photo: GUI / Golfbox)
Cathal BUTLER (IRE) matched McMahon with a blemish free 66 of his own. The Kinsale man jumped 82 spots after opening with a 75 in Round 1.
Cathal Butler’s Round 2 Scorecard (Photo: GUI / Golfbox)
The Round 2 average score was identical to yesterday’s at 72.49 so despite a little more breeze lots of high quality golf was again seen.
By way of reminder the top 50 and ties cut will take place after Saturday’s third round.
16th May 2019
Ronan MULLARNEY (IRE) shot a course record 62 (-9) to take the Round 1 lead at the Irish Amateur Open.
Ronan Mullarney’s Round 1 Scorecard (Photo: GUI / Golfbox)
Tied for 2nd James NEWTON (ENG), Robbie MUIR (SCO) and Euan WALKER (SCO) all posted 66’s (-5).
The average Round 1 score was 72.49 with 36 players shooting under par on a near perfect day at Rosses Point.
12th May 2019
The 2019 Irish Amateur Open Championship, sponsored by Flogas, starts on Thursday 16th May at County Sligo G.C. at Rosses Point, in the western province of Connacht.
County Sligo G.C. (Photo: Rossespoint.ie)
Format and Tee Times
A field of 132 golfers from 14 different countries will tee off in what will be the 82nd playing of this competition.
The Irish Amateur Open is a 72-hole stroke play event organised by the Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI).
18 holes are played on the first three days before a top 50 and ties cut is made. A final 18 holes are then played by the leading competitors.
View the Draw for Rounds 1 and 2 here – 2019 Irish Amateur Open Tee Times
In the event of a tie for the Championship the players concerned will play 3 holes of stroke play. The player with the lowest aggregate total being the winner. If a winner still hasn’t been determined then the play-off moves to sudden death over the same holes.
The Irish Amateur Open Champion Golfer is awarded a superb silver trophy (see below). Irish winners are allowed to take the trophy back to their Club for the year whereas overseas winners must return it to the GUI after the prize presentation.
County Sligo G.C.’s championship course was designed by Harry Colt and measures 7,157 yards, playing to a par of 71. The front nine is 3,557 yards long (par 36) and the back nine 3,600 yards (par 35).
Players will tee off between 7.00am and 3.15pm on each of the first three days so changes in the weather and wind speeds can be expected to play a big part in scoring.
County Sligo G.C. (Photo: Golfbreaks.com)
Many of GB&I’s leading amateur golfers will be competing in north west Ireland.
However the field does look weaker than in previous years when Royal County Down was the host. Players finishing the U.S. college season, some taking exams at home and the harder logistics of getting to Sligo have all contributed to this position.
There are nine members of the recently announced 26-man Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup Squad playing; these are (Nationality / SPWAR), Jake BURNAGE (ENG / #114), Kieran CANTLEY (SCO / #450), Ben CHAMBERLAIN (WAL / #508), Jake HAPGOOD (WAL / #372), Euan MCINTOSH (SCO / #242), Mark POWER (IRE / #183), Conor PURCELL (IRE / #22), James SUGRUE (IRE / #220) and Euan WALKER (SCO / #45).
Josh MCMAHON (ENG / #123), the winner of the Lytham Trophy, is in the field as are Harry GODDARD (ENG / #173), Stephen ROGER (SCO / #326) and Laurie OWEN (ENG / #401) who also featured prominently in Lancashire.
Other players who could contend include Jake BOLTON (ENG / #276), Aaron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG / #304), Michael HIRMER (GER / #69), Matias HONKALA (FIN / #352), Jim JOHNSTON (SCO / #494), Matty LAMB (ENG / #332), David LANGLEY (ENG / #126), Peter O’KEEFFE (IRE / #659), Tiarnan MACLARNAN (IRE / #207), Ronan MULLARNEY (IRE / #120), Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG / #606), Charlie THORNTON (ENG / #459), James WILSON (SCO / #358) and Jeff WRIGHT (SCO / #569).
The latest weather forecast (as at Sunday 12th May) currently looks very good for all four competition days – mainly sunny with relatively modest winds.
Thu 16th May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 9 mph E / Temp. Min. 8°C / Max. 17°C.
Fri 17th May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 10 mph E / Temp. Min. 8°C / Max. 16°C.
Sat 18th May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 11 mph NE / Temp. Min. 8°C / Min. 16°C.
Sun 19th May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 11 mph E / Temp. Min. 9°C / Max. 17°C.
The 2018 Irish Amateur Open Championship
Robin DAWSON (IRE) completed a wire to wire victory at the 2018 Irish Amateur Open, helped in no small part by a superb 65 (-6) in Round 1.
The Tramore G.C. man started the final round 6-shots clear but after a final round 77 had to settle for a 282 (-2) total.
Robin Dawson (Photo: Cashman Photography)
John GOUGH (ENG) and Alex GLEESON (IRE) tied for 2nd on +2 with Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) one shot further back on +3, 3rd.
Click this link to view the final – 2018 Irish Amateur Open Championship Result
History, Past Winners and Records
The Irish Amateur Open Championship was first played in 1892 with early winners including the English amateur greats John Ball and Harold Hilton.
Between 1894 and 1901 (6 years) the competition was played as part of the Irish Championship Meeting alongside a professional tournament.
The Championship was not played during both World Wars.
It was also not played between 1960 and 1994, I assume, due to a lack of interest from overseas players amidst concerns over safety.
Prior to 1958 it was a match play event but since returning to the amateur calendar in 1995 it has been 72 holes of stroke play.
To view a list of past winners click here – Irish Amateur Open Past Champions
Copyright © 2019, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.