Golf legend Gary Player congratulates NI rising star Ollie McEvoy (7) on tournament victory
Ollie McEvoy from Ballycastle was named Flogas Irish Junior Open Series Junior Golfer of the Year after a stunning fightback - and golf legend Gary Player was among those to offer congratulations.
The seven-year-old has already won the American Golf Junior Championship and the US Kids All Ireland title this year, as well as finishing 10th in the World Championships at Pinehurst.
This year's Flogas Irish Junior Open Series was backed by golfing legend Gary Player with Ollie taking home the Gary Player Trophy.
"My very best wishes & congratulations to you Ollie. Well done and I look forward to shaking your hand soon. Keep practicing hard," Player said in a tweet to the boy.
“I started off really badly but I kept fighting until I won,” Ollie told the Belfast Telegraph after his victory at Clandeboye Golf Club.
“On the third hole, I didn't hit a good shot. It went into the bunker and then the next shot wasn't so good. I just kept fighting back and then finished six-under for the last few holes.”
My very best wishes & congratulations to you Ollie. Well done and I look forward to shaking your hand soon. Keep practicing hard. GP— Gary Player (@garyplayer) August 23, 2017
Ollie said it “felt really good to win and get the trophy”.
The St Patrick's and St Brigid's Primary School pupil now has his sights set on professional golfing glory.
He added: “My favourite player is Rory McIlroy because he's European and he's good at pitching and driving the ball. I came 10th in the same competition he won when he was younger, but a different age, so hopefully I can be like him.
“I haven't met him yet but I've met his coach who gave me some tips on how to be a better golfer.”
Tournament organiser and Clandeboye Golf Club's head professional Michael Gallagher added: “We've been really impressed by the standard of golf this year. Every year we strive to get bigger and better and this year we did that with more events, in Ireland and abroad, and young golfers from around the world taking part.
“I'm delighted for our winner, Ollie McEvoy, who finished off his final round brilliantly.
“Our two finalists, Ollie McEvoy and Harry O'Hara, both have bright futures ahead of them and hopefully they'll come back to the Irish Junior Open again next year.”
Belfast Telegraph Digital