PORTRUSH, Ireland (July 13, 2012) -- Rory McNamara staked his claim for a recall to the Irish team when came back from one down with two to play and birdied the last two holes to beat Knock’s Michael Sinclair one up in a thrilling North of Ireland Amateur Open final at Royal Portrush.
Having won the last three holes in the morning semi-finals to see off Portmarnock’s Geoff Lenehan by two holes, McNamara looked in trouble when he fell three down to 1997 champion Sinclair at the turn.
But 40-year old Sinclair, who was also the East of Ireland champion in 2003, lost the 10th, 12th and 13th to see his lead disappear before going one up again with a winning par three at the signature 14th.
However McNamara was not to be denied his maiden senior title and after holing a 10 footer for birdie at the par-five 17th to square the match, he finished in style by sinking a 30 footer for birdie and victory at the 18th where he had two putts for the title after Sinclair had bunkered his tee shot and faced a six footer for bogey.
Sinclair cruised into the decider thanks to a facile 6 and 5 win over Galway Golf Club’s Eddie McCormack, who got off to a horrific start and never recovered.
Final Rory McNamara (Headfort) bt Michael Sinclair (Knock) 1 upSemi-finals Michael Sinclair (Knock) bt Eddie McCormack (Galway) 6/5; Rory McNamara (Headfort) bt Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock) 2 holes