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Edwards-Hill is delighted after finally getting win with North victory

 

Champion: Arron Edwards-Hill
Champion: Arron Edwards-Hill
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

England's Arron Edwards-Hill admitted he was delighted to finally get over the winning line after securing the North of Ireland Amateur Open at Portstewart.

The Chelmsford golfer defeated a battling Peter O'Keeffe (Douglas) 2&1 in the final to take home the title, following a semi-final win over Liam Grehan (Mullingar) earlier in the day.

After a shaky start from both golfers, Edwards-Hill opened up a three-hole advantage by the seventh, although O'Keeffe - who defeated Robert Brazill (Naas) in his last-four tie - pulled one back at the ninth to trail by two at the turn.

But a well-timed birdie from Edwards-Hill at the 14th saw him re-establish the three up lead and, although O'Keeffe prolonged the match with a birdie to win at 16, the Englishman held on for victory on the 17th green.

It's Edwards-Hill's first triumph of the season after several near misses, including five top-six finishes, with the Chelmsford man relieved to finally taste silverware.

"I've played a lot in Ireland, I finished second in the West (of Ireland) and third in the Irish Amateur, so it was great to get a win up north," said Edwards-Hill.

"I've really learned from the mistakes I made to just miss out on winning and I put them to the test here and it worked.

"Once I got three up through seven, I realised that if I kept making pars then I would be forcing him to make birdies, so I just played par golf."

His celebrations will hopefully last into next weekend, with Edwards-Hill heading to Royal Portrush to support a fellow Chelmsford amateur at The Open Championship.

"Curtis Knipes, he's a great mate of mine, we get on really well. If he could go and get the Silver Medal it would be a double whammy for Chelmsford!" he laughed.

• AT the European Team Championships, the Ireland boys' team were beaten in the semi-finals by Germany, meaning they will face Sweden for third place.

The men defeated Germany, setting up a fifth-placed play-off against Wales, while Ireland's ladies fell to defeat to Scotland and the girls overcame Switzerland.

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