Underdogs Yates and Holland in West final; Campbell and McElroy exit

Dermot McElroy in the black hat (left) watches Naas' Jonathan Yates hit a four-iron to the 16th. 

Underdogs Jonathan Yates and Daniel Holland will contest this afternoon's final of the West of Ireland Amateur Open at County Sligo.

Holland, a former Leinster Interpro and the winner of the Mullingar Scratch Trophy in 2013, beat an out of sort Colm Campbell 5 and 4 while Yates came back from two down after nine to beat holder Dermot McElroy from Ballymena 1 up.

"Dan is very underestimated and he's taken some big scalps before," said Campbell, who was an estimated five over par for the holes played and a shadow of the player who beat local favourite Sean Flanagan 3 and 2 in the quarter-finals. "I wasn't really at the race but Dan played the better golf and deserved the win."

Holland birdied the first and third to go two up up while Campbell squared the match at the fifth, Holland birdied the sixth and took the eighth and ninth in par to go three up, birdied the 10th from three feet and holed a 30 footer for par on 11 to go five up.

He then got up and down for birdie on 12 to go six up and while Campbell won the 13th to stop the rot, the match ended when they halved the 14th in bogeys.

"It's still a good start to the season and hopefully that win is not too far away."

McElroy was bitterly disappointed to lose to Yates in a tricky, 15-20 mph southwest wind that made it difficult to get close to flags, going around in three over par.

"The whole front nine, all the pins were on the right hand side and the wind was off the right," he said.

The defending champion McElroy was two up after nine but Yates, a 22 year old geography and sociology student at UCD, holed a 30 footers on the 10th to got back to one down and that found the hole with a steamy 30 footer down the hill for another birdie at the 12th to square the match.

McElroy then went one down with four to play when he missed the green at the 14th and failed with a six footer for par.

The real turning point was the 200-yard 16th, where Yates hit a great four-iron to 30 feet and McElroy knocked his 25 footer three feet past and didn't hit the hole with the return,

He made for an exciting finish with a brilliant par at the 17th, hitting a 218 yard two-iron to the back fringe as Yates missed the green right and failed to get up and down

McElroy then came up short of the 18th with his nine iron from a poor lie and with Yates 20 feet away, he almost chipped in for birdie, finishing an inch or two left of the hole.

Yates two putted to go through and can now become the second Naas man to win the title following clubmate Jack Hume's triumph in 2014.

West of Ireland Amateur Open, County Sligo GC (in association with Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa)

Semi-finals - Tuesday, March 29

  1.  Daniel Holland (Castle) bt Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint) 5/4
  2. Jonathan Yates (Naas) bt Dermot McElroy (Ballymena) 1 up

Final — Tuesday, March 29

1.30pm — Daniel Holland (Castle) v Jonathan Yates (Naas)