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Golf: Downey in one

Classy Conor goes from the football field to the fairways and hits an ace to claim the Craigavon Junior Golf final

By Brian Elliott

Dromore golfer Conor Downey recently pulled off a win in style, by taking the Indivdual gold medal at the Craigavon Junior Golf final, played at Silverwood Golf Club in Lurgan last month.

Downey, representing Edenmore Golf Club, managed to strike a hole-in-one on only the second hole of the course, after which he went on to take the win by a single point.

But perhaps even more remarkable was the fact that Downey had to race over to Silverwood for the tournament, after playing a full 90 minutes football for Dromore Juniors FC!

"I think that was a match that we lost!" Downey told Local Heroes.

" I wasn't feeling too confident about the golf tournament, either, and not just because of what had happened in the football match.

"I was feeling a little sluggish after working hard for 90 minutes, and I had to struggle my way around the course."

Seventeen year old Downey also admits to being surprised to see that his second-hole shot ended where it did.

"It was a 5-iron tee shot from 160 yards," he added.

"It was just one of those shots where you know you've hit the ball well.

"So I kept half an eye on it as I picked up my tee, and sure enough, it dropped into the hole.

" Perhaps I shouldn't admit that it was a little bit lucky!"

After the hole-in-one, Downey went on to take the Individual prize by shooting 37 points off a 14 handicap.

The one-point gap by which he won, would have been greater had he been shooting off his regular handicap.

"I hadn't been at the club for a while, and wasn't sure what handicap I was playing under," he said.

"In the last few months, I'd been playing off 16, but I was told on the day that I'd been moved up to 14.

"So that ended up affecting my points tally, and it was very close in the end."

Despite this golfing success, however, Downey's sporting aspirations are more based around football, a sport which he has been playing ever since he can remember.

"I enjoy playing golf on the weekends, but if I'm honest, I do prefer playing football.

"I don't know how far I'll be able to take it, but I would love to play in the Irish League at some point."

Should he continue to progress in both sports as he has in golf, Downey may have an interesting choice to make in the not too distant future.

Belfast Telegraph

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