Irish Amateur Open Championship – 2022 Preview & Results

15th May 2022

Colm CAMPBELL (IRL), now 35, won the Flogas Irish Men’s Amateur Open at The Island Golf Club after a play-off with Matt MCCLEAN (IRL).

It was Campbell’s second Championship having also picked up the famous trophy at nearby Royal Dublin back in 2016.

Now a part-time golfer the 35 year old family man, with a 2 year old daughter, from Warrenpoint Golf Club works full time as a PING golf salesman and is largely restricted to a domestic amateur schedule.

“I’m delighted to get over the line. There’s still a little bit of golf left in there yet. I am am a happy man.” he said afterwards.

Play-Off

Colm CAMPBELL (IRL) beat Matt MCCLEAN (IRL) on the first sudden death play-off hole to win the title.  Unfortunately McClean had to take an unplayable lie off his pushed tee shot which handed an immediate advantage to Campbell which he took advantage of with a safely played bogey.

Round 4

Colm CAMPBELL shot an even par 72 in the final round to take the Championship to extra holes. However, he needed to hole clutch putts of 10 and 12 feet respectively at his final two holes to achieve this.

As the final round progressed it appeared as if Matt McCLEAN was going to play his way to the title in the penultimate group. A stunning run of four birdies and an eagle between the 5th and 13th holes saw him 5-under for the day and 2-under for the championship with four holes to play.  However, his 3-shot lead on the field soon evaporated. On the par 5 15th he took four to get down from the front of the green for a deflating double bogey 7. Another bogey at the 17th saw him finish on 350 (+1) and waiting on Colm Campbell behind him.

Overnight leader Rob MORAN (IRL) double bogeyed the 3rd to slip out of the lead and ultimately had to settle for 3rd place on +3 after a 75.

Marc BOUCHER (IRL) bogeyed his closing two holes to finish on +4 and in 4th place.

Recent West of Ireland champion Alan FAHY (IRL) finished 5th on +5. He saw his chances of winning go with a bogey on the 11th and a triple bogey on the 12th.

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Final Results (Graphic: Golf Ireland / Golfbox)

Click here to view the full – 2022 Irish Amateur Open Results

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14th May 2022

Round 3

Robert MORAN (IRL) will take a 1-shot lead in to tomorrow’s final round of the Flogas Irish Amateur Open after a level par round of 72 at The Island G.C. which included birdies on the 3rd and 7th offset by bogeys on the 4th and 10th.

2016 champion Colm CAMPBELL (IRL), who shot a 3-under 69 to move up 9 places on the leaderboard, Marc BOUCHER (IRL) 73 and Ryan GRIFFIN (IRL) 73 will start the final round 1-shot back of the leader.

Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL) rose 43 places in the standings after a best of the week 68 (-4), a 12 shot improvement on his second round 80. The Dundalk man will start the day 7-shots back of Moran.

59 players made the top 50 and ties cut which fell at the end of the round at +16.

Campbell and Rafferty’s scores shouldn’t be taken as evidence of a much easier scoring day. Indeed a 1 hour 45 minute fog delay in the afternoon caused an unwelcome distraction for the later starters. The average score in Round 3 was 77.14 (+5.14), lower than yesterday but still slightly higher than that seen in Round 1.

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Round 3 Leaderboard (Graphic: Golf Ireland / Golfbox)

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13th May 2022

Round 2

Irish trio Marc BOUCHER, Robert MORAN and Ryan GRIFFIN (Ev) share the 36 hole lead at the Flogas Irish Amateur Open Championship.

A strong wind, particularly affecting the morning wave, made playing conditions at The Island particularly challenging with Boucher’s steady 73 (+1) the best round of the day. Moran and Griffin, who both enjoyed a more up and down day, posted 74’s. Moran’s round included four birdies whilst Griffin had two birdies and a miraculous eagle 2 on the 490 yard home hole.

Overnight leader Matthew WILSON (SCO) is in a group of three, alongside Joe HANNEY (IRL) and Alan FAHY (IRL), tied for 4th place. Wilson finished bogey, double-bogey to slip out of the lead and let a good round get away from him.

Defending champion Peter O’KEEFFE (IRL) shot 78 in Round 2 to move out to +8, tied 31st.

The average score on Day 2 was 79.62, 7.62 shots higher than par and 2.54 shots higher than in the opening round.

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Round 2 Leaderboard (Graphic: Golf Ireland / Golfbox)

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12th May 2022

Round 1

Matthew WILSON (SCO), playing with confidence after two recent home wins in the Craigmillar Park Open and Battle Trophy at Crail, shot a 3-under 69 to take the Round 1 lead at the Island Golf Club.

Seven Irish players are hot on his heels, 1-shot worse off. Alan FAHY, Gerard DUNNE, Jack MADDEN, Liam NOLAN, Ryan GRIFFIN, Robert MORAN and Sean MCLOUGHLIN will all be pleased with their opening day’s work.

Defending champion Peter O’KEEFFE (IRL) opened with a two-over 74 to lie in tied 26th place.

The average score on Day 1 was 77.08 (+5.08) reflecting how tough the course played off the back tees, particularly in the afternoon when the wind picked up. Just 11 of the 132 players finished Round 1 under par with a further 6 starters making par.

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Round 1 Leaderboard (Graphic: Golf Ireland / Golfbox)

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11th May 2022

The Irish Men’s Amateur Open Championship, sponsored by Flogas, starts on Thursday 12th May 2022 at The Island Golf Club in Corballis, County Dublin.

It will be the 84th playing of this prestigious Championship.

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13th Hole, The Island Golf Club (Photo: The Island G.C.)

Format

Organised by Golf Ireland (GI) the Irish Amateur Open is a 72-hole stroke play event played over four days.

18 holes will be played on each of the first three days before a top 50 and ties cut is made. A final 18 holes will then be played by the leading competitors on the final day.

A tie for the Championship will be resolved by a sudden death play-off. It appears that in 2022 GI have moved away from the three hole play-off stipulated and used in recent years.

The Irish Amateur Open Champion Golfer is awarded a superb silver trophy (see photo below). Irish winners are allowed to take the trophy back to their Club for the year whereas overseas winners must return it to the GI after the prize presentation.

Players

This year’s field feels relatively weak in comparison to the heady days of the 2017 and 2018 playing of the Irish Amateur Open at Royal County Down G.C.

Less depth in GB&I amateur golf than recent years, more players away at college in the U.S., school exams coming up at home, post-pandemic funding and more prestigious events scheduled for the next few weeks have all contributed to this position in Ireland.

England playing France in their biennial eight-man International men’s match this weekend hasn’t helped either.

Whilst the field of 132 golfers will represent 11 different countries it is the leading home players that stand out.

In alphabetical order Marc BOUCHER, Keith EGAN, Alan FAHY, Hugh FOLEY, TJ FORD, Sean KEELING, David KITT, Alex MAGUIRE, Matt MCCLEAN, Robert MORAN, Eoin MURPHY, Liam NOLAN, defending champion Peter O’KEEFFE and Caolan RAFFERTY appear to be the ones to watch out for to me.

Tee Times

Click here to view the – 2022 Irish Amateur Open Tee Times

Players will tee off between 8.00am and 2.50pm on each of the first three days so changes in the weather and wind speeds could play a big part in scoring.

Course

The Island G.C. was founded in 1890 and as its name suggests was originally only accessible by ferry boat.

During the winter of 2019/20 the front 9 holes were updated and lengthened by architects Ebert & McKenzie with the plan being to bring them up to the standard of the much admired back 9.

With the course bordered by sea on three sides it now plays to 7,258 yards from the back tees and has a testing par of 72.

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Weather Forecast

The weather forecast looks good for all four competition days – mainly sunny, albeit with strong breezes featuring.

Thu 12th May – Light Cloud / Wind 16 mph W / Temp. Min. 10°C / Max. 15°C.
Fri  13th May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 19 mph W / Temp. Min. 8°C / Max. 18°C.
Sat  14th May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 9 mph SE / Temp. Min. 9°C / Max. 16°C.
Sun 15th May – Light Cloud / Wind 14 mph E / Temp. Min. 11°C / Max. 14°C.

The 2021 Irish Amateur Open Championship

39 year old Peter O’KEEFFE (IRL) won the 2021 Irish Amateur Open played at The European Golf Club, one of Ireland’s toughest courses.

Played over 54 holes O’Keeffe shot rounds of 73, 72 and 72 to tie with Switzerland’s Nicola Gerhardsen on 217 (+4). Three pars in the three hole play-off, over the 18th, 10th and 9th, then proved to be good enough to beat Gerhardsen who opened with a bogey on the 18th.

The 2021 Championship was postponed due to COVID-19 until 15-17th October and having already won the Irish Close in August O’Keeffe completed a memorable double. He became just the seventh player to achieve this feat in Irish amateur golf history with Padraig Harrington the last in 1995.

Hugh FOLEY (IRL) finished 3rd on +7, Harley SMITH (ENG) 4th on +9 and Allan HILL (IRL) 5th on +10.

Click here to view the full – 2021 Irish Amateur Open Results

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Peter O’Keeffe With the Irish Close and Open Amateur Trophies  (Photo: Niall O’Shea) 

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

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