Savage wins Irish Amateur Open

Winner Jamie Savage (Scotland) with the Irish Amateur Open Golf Championship trophy after his victory at The Royal Dublin Golf Club. Picture by Pat Cashman

Scotland's Jamie Savage hit a sensational 203-yard rescue to 10 feet at the 18th to set up what proved to be a winning par in the Irish Amateur Open Championship at a wet and windy Royal Dublin.

The 19-year old reigning East of Scotland champion from Cawder Golf Club in Glasgow, came from three strokes behind overnight leader Gary McDermott (76), carding a one under 71 to win by two strokes on level par 288.

"I played nicely all week and just glad that I pulled it off, especially after being beaten in a play-off a couple of weeks ago in the Battle Trophy," said Savage, whose father  Stewart is the professional at Dalmuir.

"I was only three behind at the start of the day and I had a number in my head, thought if I could get under par, thought I would have a chance. Any under score par was good."

Jamie Savage (Scotland) playing from the bunker at the 13th green during the final round. Picture by Pat Cashman

Savage came to the last tied level par with Ardglass' Cormac Sharvin. But Sharvin hit a three iron into an awkward spot close to the fairway bunkers and the leaked his three-iron out of bounds, taking six for a 73 that left him tied for second with Robbie Van West (71), the Isle of Man's Tom Gandy (70) and McDermott (76).

Co Sligo man McDermott, who four putted the seventh for a costly double bogey five, came to the 16th one shot off the lead on one-over and three over for the day.

Unfortunately, he had no idea how he stood. 

After three putting from short of the 16th for par, he saved a great par from 10 feet at the 17th but still had no idea that he needed a birdie at the last to force a three-hole playoff.

After a superb hybrid down the middle, he tugged his approach on the right to left wind and only discovered that he needed to chip in as he stood over the ball.

"I was a bit deflated, to say the least," he said after coming up 15 feet short with his pitch and two putting for bogey. "I had to hole it and that was it. I'm a bit deflated now. It would have been nice to know where I stood.

"All I was trying to do is hit the green on the last. If you make a birdie you take the extra club and try to cut something up into the wind. I didn't know if a four was good enough or not.

"I suppose when people were staying away from me, I thought that meant I was on control. But hindsight is 20-20. It would have been  nice to have known or had some scoreboards out there but it was not to be. It certainly doesn't have an impact on the whole day."

Cormac Sharvin (Ardglass) sending his second shot at the 18th out of bounds during the final round. Picture by Pat Cashman

Sharvin vowed to come back stronger than ever after a final hole double bogey cost him a chance to win the title.

“The ball was below my feet,” Sharvin said after his 73. “I felt as though I had to take it on but it was a one in ten shot and unfortunately I just came out of it and hit it out of bounds. 

“I have a lot of positives to take from the week. I got myself in a good position and hopefully I can seal the deal next time.”

Eventual champion Savage didn't make McDermott's mistake.

“I asked a boy on the 14th where I was sitting and he said I was one ahead, so I just tried to keep calm,” said the powerfully built Scot, who had four birdies and three bogeys in a 71 to set the winning target at level par 288.

“It’s not an easy finish. I played well.

"I played nicely all week and I'm just glad that I pulled it off, especially after being beaten in a play-off a couple of weeks ago (for the Battle Trophy).

Gary McDermott (Carton House) driving from the 17th tee during the final round of the 2014 Irish Amateur Open at The Royal Dublin Golf Club Picture by Pat Cashman

"I didn't get off to the best of starts, one over through five. I just decided to stick to my game plan and I birdied 6 and 7, and just played pretty nicely the whole way in.

"I had a minor blip on 17, missed a four foot putt for. Apart from that, I played pretty well. I was never under any pressure to make bogey, just pretty solid the whole way around.

"On the 8th I hit rescu, to 10 feet from  203 yards. I thought I could hit four-iron but was afraid it could turn in the wind, so I just hit a big fade and hit a rescue in exactly where I wanted to."

Setting his sights on a place in Scotland's six-man team for the European Team Championships as well as next year's Walker Cup before turning professional, the St Andrews Golf Club member added: "There are still more tournaments to go and hopefully do well in them. Winning helps. It feels good as well."

A full time amateur, his four birdies were a combination of power and accuracy - two putt birdies at the par five second and sixth and a pair of fine twos at the seventh (5-iron) and 12th (six iron) where he holed putts of six and eight feet respectively.

The Island’s Paul McBride matched Savage's best of the week 68 of Friday to share sixth with Naas’ Jack Hume (75) on three over.

Irish Amateur Open, Royal Dublin (Par 72, course reduced by 450 yards to 6,847 yards) 


288 Jamie Savage (Scotland) 74 68 75 71

290 Cormac Sharvin (Ardglass) 74 70 73 73, Robbie van West (Netherlands) 73 74 72 71, Tom Gandy (Isle of Man) 71 71 78 70, Gary McDermott (Carton House) 69 71 74 76

291 Paul McBride (The Island) 76 73 74 68, Jack Hume (Naas) 72 72 72 75

293 Marco Penge (England) 79 69 71 74, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (South Africa) 75 71 75 72, Jeff Hopkins (The Royal Dublin) 74 76 70 73

295 Barry Anderson (The Royal Dublin) 75 76 72 72, Colin Fairweather (Knock) 73 76 74 72, Alexander Culverwell (Scotland) 70 73 77 75

296 Robin Dawson (Faithlegg) 74 74 75 73, Stuart Grehan (Tullamore) 72 76 74 74, Ashley Mason (England) 72 73 74 77

297 Dermot McElroy (Ballymena) 76 74 72 75

298 James Allan (England) 77 76 74 71, Nick MacAndrew (Scotland) 75 72 76 75

299 Richard Knightly (The Royal Dublin) 76 77 73 73, Gus Mottershead (England) 76 76 72 75, Lauri Ruuska (Finland) 76 75 74 74, Reeve Whitson (Mourne) 76 71 76 76

300 Miki Kuronen (Finland) 75 77 72 76, Kevin Le Blanc (The Island) 74 72 79 75, Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock) 73 76 76 75

301 Mark Shanahan (Castlemartyr) 82 73 73 73, Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint) 73 76 78 74

302 Darragh Coghlan (Portmarnock) 75 74 76 77, Rory McNamara (Headfort) 74 80 74 74, Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene) 74 75 77 76, Thriston Lawrence (South Africa) 73 70 80 79

303 Lukas Lipold (Austria) 83 74 72 74, Adam Dunton (Scotland) 78 74 74 77, John Greene (Portmarnock) 76 73 78 76

304 Scott Gibson (Scotland) 73 75 80 76, Sem Westdijk (Netherlands) 71 75 78 80

305 Scott Borrowman (Scotland) 80 73 76 76, Kieran McCarthy (Castlemartyr) 78 73 79 75, Ben Best (Rathmore) 76 78 73 78, William Hanna (Kilkeel) 75 77 75 78, Seamus Cullen (Slieve Russell) 75 76 78 76

306 Rowan Lester (Hermitage) 78 77 75 76, Robert Cannon (Balbriggan) 78 77 75 76, Assaf Choen (Israel) 78 75 75 78, Haydn McCullen (England) 75 80 74 77

307 Hinrich Arkenau (Germany) 74 80 75 78

308 Connor Syme (Scotland) 78 76 75 79, Eugene Smith (Ardee) 76 80 73 79

309 James Fox (Portmarnock) 78 73 78 80, Henry Tomlinson (England) 74 76 79 80

310 Daniel Holland (Castle) 75 75 79 81


Liam Martin (President, Golfing Union of Ireland) presenting Jamie Savage (Scotland) with the Irish Amateur Open Golf Championship trophy after his victory at The Royal Dublin Golf Club today (11/05/2014). Also in the picture is Enda McDermott (Captain, The Royal Dublin Golf Club). Picture by Pat Cashman