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Too tall an order for Ulster's Small as Anderson lifts Irish silverware

 

By Paul Kelly

Barry Anderson (The Royal Dublin) made the most of 'home' advantage to win the West of Ireland Championship at Co Sligo GC yesterday. The 26-year-old, a lifelong member of the club, beat Portmarnock's Jack Pierse 3&2 to become the first home winner in over 30 years.

The Dublin-based accountant dominated the final from start to finish. A winning par at the first set him on his way, and by the turn he was three holes ahead.

Pierse made par at 10 to get one back but Anderson held firm to the finish. An eight-foot birdie at the 15th put him three clear with three to play, and he did not have to wait long for his moment of victory as a par at the 16th was enough to secure the title.

Anderson trailed early on in the semi-final against Jake Whelan (Newlands) and was three down after four, but he played some superb golf to clinch a comprehensive 5&3 success.

In the other semi, Pierse won the opening hole against Tandragee's William Small and extended that lead to four after seven.

Small, a 20-year-old dairy farmer, birdied the 11th and won the 13th with a two to get back to two down with five to play.

But Pierse made a birdie at the 14th and closed out the match with pars at the next two holes.

Pierse never got going in the final. Anderson birdied the second and the fifth while Pierse lost ground with bogeys at the first and the fourth. Once ahead, Anderson never let his grip slip.

Semi-final: Jack Pierse (Portmarnock) bt William Small (Tandragee), Barry Anderson (The Royal Dublin) bt Jake Whelan (Newlands). Final: Anderson bt Pierse 3&2

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