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Golf honours Ian Bamford for his great service to game

By Deric Henderson

Ian Bamford, a former captain of Royal Portrush, who has been involved in golf for more than 70 years, has been honoured by the Irish Golf Writers Association at a ceremony in Dublin.

He was presented with an award for distinguished services to golf in Ireland which acknowledged an outstanding career as a champion player and leading administrator.

The award was handed over by the Sunday Independent's Dermot Gilleece, the association's chairman after the secretary, Philip Reid of the Irish Times, detailed Bamford's achievements which stretched back to 1954 when he won the first of his two North of Ireland Championships.

He is a past winner of the Irish Amateur Open (Portmarnock, 1957) and played for Ulster and Ireland.

Bamford, a former Ulster Branch honorary secretary, who went on to become president of the Golfing Union of Ireland (1993), the year he became a member of the R & A, the game's ruling body.

He is a past captain and president of Warrenpoint and in 2002 was captain at Portrush, his spiritual home where he has been a member since 1944.

Three times major winner Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry, named by the association as Irish Golfer of the Year, were among the guests who attended the awards night at Castleknock where Bamford, a lawyer and retired District Judge, spoke of his pride at receiving the accolade.

Previous winners include Paul McGinley, the captain of the winning European Ryder Cup team in 2014, Garth McGimpsey (2003), Christy O'Connor Snr (1984), Joe Carr (1981) and Fred Daly (1979).

He said: "It is an unbelievable honour for me and for my long suffering family."

Bamford played with O'Connor, Carr and Daly, the 1947 Open Champion, in the early years of his career when he studied law at Trinity College in Dublin.

"It was a thrilling experience and steep learning curve for me at that time," he said.

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