Hermitage talent Rowan Lester won the fifth Faldo Series Ireland Championship by two shots after rounds of 71 and 70 at Lough Erne Resort in Northern Ireland. The 16-year-old Ireland squad member beat 120 competitors to the title, the largest ever field for the event.
“This is by far my biggest win,” said a delighted Lester who will return to Lough Erne in County Fermanagh for the 16th Faldo Series Grand Final in September. “The Faldo Course was in fantastic condition this week and I can’t wait to play it again at the Grand Final.”
Lester will be joined at the Grand Final by Boys’ Under-18 winner Craig Melvin. Melvin from Corrstown fired a second-round 68 before winning a three-way play-off to qualify for the 54-hole World Amateur Golf Ranking event, hosted by Sir Nick Faldo.
Joint overnight leader Ryan McCullough (Massereene) won the Boys’ Under-21 category after following his opening 70 on the Faldo Course with a 77. Olivia Mehaffey from Royal County Down claimed the Girls’ division with rounds of 76 and 78.
Supported by The R&A, the European Tour and Lough Erne Resort, the 2012 Faldo Series Europe schedule features a record 20 tournaments in 14 countries including six in England plus others in Bahrain, Ireland, Chile, the Czech Republic, Greece, Wales, Austria, Brazil, Germany, The Netherlands, Scotland, Slovakia and Russia.
Established in 1996, 38 Faldo Series tournaments now take place in 28 countries worldwide with more than 7,000 golfers participating each year. Past winners include Major Champions Rory McIlroy and Yani Tseng.
Leading final scores:
Boys’ Under-21: 147 – Ryan McCullough (Massereene) 70-77; 148 – Stuart Grehan (Tullamore) 71-77; 149 – Tiernan Lindsay (Fortwilliam) 74-75.
Boys’ Under-18: 147 – Craig Melvin (Corrstown) 79-68, Michael McCann (Warren Point) 76-71, Robin Dawson (Faithlegg) 79-68.
Boys’ Under-16: 141 – Rowan Lester (Hermitage) 71-70; 143 – Ted Collins (Dun Loaghaire) 75-68, Jonathan Doherty (Ballina) 70-73.
Girls: 154 – Olivia Mehaffey (Royal County Down) 76-78; 173 – Darcey Carr (Milltown) 86-87.