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Dubliner Cannon blasts his way to victory over Leonard in the Close


By Paul Kelly

Experienced campaigner Robbie Cannon (Balbriggan) rolled back the years to win the AIG Irish Close at The European Club yesterday.

The 39-year-old Dubliner clinched his third major championship in convincing fashion, wrapping up a 2&1 victory over Eoin Leonard (Killiney/Wentworth) with a par at the 17th.

"I'm very happy and very grateful for winning," said Cannon, a highly regarded strength and conditioning coach.

"It's funny, I had nothing but bad luck in every tournament I played this year. I knew I was due a bit of good luck this week. I even wrote down in my diary last night that I was going to win, I just had a really good feeling."

One down after five holes of the final, Cannon won the sixth and seventh to go ahead. It was a lead that he would never relinquish.

He added; "I have to thank Nigel Howley, the pro in Balbriggan. He's done a lot of work with me on my putting the last couple of years. He's turned me from a poor putter into a good putter."

l In the Boys Home Internationals at Royal Dornach, Ireland hammered Scotland to set up a winner-takes-all clash with England today. At Ballybunion, Ireland began the defence of the Ladies Home Internationals with a thrilling 5-4 win over England.

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