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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Copyright © 2014-2022, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Irish Amateur Open Championship – 2019 Preview, Reports & Results

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.

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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”.

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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.

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The Irish Amateur Open Final Results (Photo: GUI / Golfbox)

View the Full Results here – 2019 Irish Amateur Open Results

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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16th May 2019

Ronan MULLARNEY (IRE) shot a course record 62 (-9) to take the Round 1 lead at the Irish Amateur Open.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Course

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.

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County Sligo G.C. (Photo: Golfbreaks.com)

Players

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).

Weather Forecast

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.

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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

ME.

Copyright © 2019, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.