Massereene's Tiarnan McLarnon claimed a three-shot win in the Specsavers sponsored North of Ireland Amateur Open Strokeplay and a place in the field for the Challenge Tour's Northern Ireland Open at Galgorm Castle in August.
The plus two handicapper opened with a four under 68 around the pristine Ballymena venue in the morning to take a one-shot lead over Northwest's Kealan Quigg, Moyola Park's Damien McCusker and Galgorm Castle's Michael Reid.
He followed up with three under 69 after lunch to win by three on seven under par from Quigg and Reid who added 71s to their first rounds 69s to finish on 140.
Looking forward to making his European Challenge Tour debut from August 6-9, McLarnon said: “I played really solid today and enjoyed the course. It was in superb condition as always and I putted great on the greens.
"I’m delighted to get the victory and can’t wait to play in the NI Open here at Galgorm in front of the big crowds in August”.
McLarnon bogeyed the par-5 third in round two but steadied the ship with birdies on the seventh and ninth to turn in one-under.
A birdie four on the 10th was cancelled out by a three-putt bogey on the 12th, but birdies on the 13th and 15th, followed by three solid pars to finish, secured a three-shot victory.
The NI Open has captured the imagination in recent years with record crowds attending Galgorm Castle to see the likes of Michael Hoey, Tournament Ambassador and five-time European Tour winner, and other household names in action.
“We are fortunate the NI Open holds a key date on the international schedule and will be looking to attract the game’s top players to Ballymena at the start of August for what promises to be another festival of tournament golf right here in Northern Ireland”, explained Gary Henry, Managing Director Galgorm Castle Estates and NI Open Tournament Director.
The Northern Ireland Open, in association with SPHERE Global and Ulster Bank takes place at Galgorm Castle Golf Club from August 6-9.
Entry is free but the general public must register online at www.niopen.co.uk to get their free tickets.
Further information on the NI Open can be found at: www.niopen.co.uk