Cannon inspired by Harrington Golf

Top gun Robbie Cannon thanked Padraig Harrington as he blasted his way to South of Ireland glory.

Cannon shot.The Laytown and Bettystown man, 30, beat Cork’s Gary O’Flaherty 4 and 3 at Lahinch to lift his first amateur “major”.

And he paid tribute to triple major winner Harrington and top pro John Kelly and his team at “Harrington Golf” for helping him make the breakthrough.

He said: “It's a dream come true. I can’t thank the lads enough - from Padraig's brother Tadhg to John Kelly and the guys at Setanta College.

“I hooked up them just before Christmas and started to study Strength and Conditioning for Sport under Padraig’s coach Dr Liam Hennessy at Setanta College. The knowledge I have picked up from them over the last six months has been huge.”

Swimming in the backwaters of Irish amateur golf for the past decade, Cannon was one of four “Harrington Golf” players in the last eight at the South alongside James Fox, Eamonn Haugh and Michael Brett.

But that quartet is just a small cross-section of the players hand-picked by the Harrington team to apply the scientific methods that have made the Dubliner a three-time major winner.

Brett and Fox travelled to the Titleist Performance Institute in San Diego, where their swings were analysed by founders Dr Greg Rose and Dave Phillips.

Cannon was also advised on the short game and putting by Kelly, last year's Irish Club professional champion and Order of Merit winner. After detailed study of his swing by the TPI, he also changed the shaft in his driver to get the most out of his game.

The Laytown ace beat Castletroy man Haugh 3 and 1 in the morning semi-finals as O'Flaherty defeated Irish Close champion Pat Murray 2 and 1.

In the final, Cannon raced three up after nine and after holing a vital eight footer for a half at the 13th, he won the 14th to go four up before closing out an emphatic win.