Belvoir Park’s Harry Diamond emulated best friend Rory McIlroy when he added his name to the illustrious list of winners of the West of Ireland Amateur Open at Rosses Point.
McIlroy tweeted: “Well done @haza136 for winning the west of Ireland! Some great names on that trophy! ;) All that practice at my house is paying off!!”
The 27-year old came back from two down after five holes to beat Claremorris’s Stephen Healy by one hole in the final, six years after McIlroy claimed back-to-back titles. Results
“It was a real struggle today. I didn’t play well today at all and changed the swing thought on every hole but my putting kept me in it, I holed a lot of six to eight footers,” Diamond told former champion, Joe Lyons who covered the event for his web portal www.golfwithamember.com.
“I don’t feel like I deserved to win but I am delighted to win and join Joe Lyons and the boys.”
Beaten finalist Healy said: “I am disappointed to have lost today but I think looking back next week I will be pretty happy with how I did. Getting this far, I would have like to have kept going.
“I played pretty decent today but I holed nothing. The putts I have been holing all week just didn’t go in so I guess that’s what happens.
“It’s a good start to the year and still have a lot of work to do. Hopefully I can get myself in this position a few more times during the year.”
The Belfast man went one up with a par at the first but lost the third to a birdie four, conceded the fourth and lost the fifth to a birdie four to go two down.
But the then won three holes in a row to turn one up, taking the seventh in par, the eighth with a bogey and the ninth with a birdie two.
Healy won the 10th with a par four to go all square but after halves in bogey at the 11th it was Diamond who took the initiative with a winning four at the par-five 12th putting him one up again.
The 13th was shared in par before Healy claimed the 14th in par to level matters for the fourth time in an entertaining decider.
But after halves in par at the 15th, Diamond won the 16th with a par three to go one up and held on to take the title with a pair of closing par fours.
In the morning semi-finals, Diamond staged a brave back nine comeback beat County Louth’s Simon Ward by one hole as Healy saw off Headfort’s Rory McNamara 2 and 1.
The Belvoir Park man lost the second to a par four and while he squared the match again with a winning birdie at the fifth, Ward won the seventh and eighth with par fours to go two up.
Diamond hit back to turn just one down after a two at the ninth but while Ward won the 10th in par, Diamond turned the match on its head with a winning bogey-birdie-par run from the 11th to the 13th to go one up.
Ward got back to square with a birdie three at the 14th but Diamond won the 16th with a par three to go ahead, halved the 17th in par and the last in birdie to take his place in the final.
Healy had to sweat to beat McNamara in the other semi-final, going four up at the turn thanks to winning birdies at the second and third and pars at the sixth and eighth before hitting a rough patch after the turn.
The Claremorris player saw his lead disappear completely when he bogeyed the 10th, 11th and 12th and then lost the par-three 13th to a McNamara birdie to be hauled back to all square.
Wins in par at the 14th and 16th but him two up again, however, and he closed out the match by 2 and 1 with a par-four at the 17th.
Harry Diamond bt Stephen Healy 1 hole.
Harry Diamond (Belvoir Park) bt Simon Ward (Co. Louth) 1 hole;
Stephen Healy (Claremorris) bt Rory McNamara (Headfort) 2/1.