​Rowan Lester dug deep to win North of Ireland Am
The victory for Rowan Lester was his major title <br>(Ireland Golf Net Photo)
The victory for Rowan Lester was his major title
(Ireland Golf Net Photo)

PORTRUSH, Ireland (July 14, 2017) - Hermitage international Rowan Lester defeated his Ireland teammate Colin Fairweather by two holes to win the North of Ireland Amateur Open.

In a topsy-turvy encounter, Lester recovered a two-hole deficit to claim his first major title. After losing the South of Ireland Final to Stuart Grehan in 2015, it was another case of what might have been for Knock's Colin Fairweather, who took Lester all the way in a grueling finale.​​​"When I go down I normally find it hard but today I knew I was going to come back," said Lester. "I didn't necessarily think I would win but I knew I would get back and make it tight. I just had that feeling ."

Like Fairweather, Lester had come close before, losing out to Conor Purcell in last year's South of Ireland Final. And when Fairweather held a two-hole lead with seven holes remaining, it seemed like Lester would have to settle for second best again.

"I was playing well at the start," said Fairweather. "I had it going straight off the tee, then he got the momentum coming through on the 12th."

Lester's win at the 12th halved the deficit and while the next three holes were halved, the match went all square on 15.​​​"I said to myself standing on the 15th tee: 'If I can play the last four in level par I will win.'"

Having set himself a target, Lester started to turn the match in his favour and pars proved sufficient on the way home to clinch the title.​​​​

Results: North of Ireland Open Amateur
WinIrelandRowan LesterIreland300
Runner-upNorthern IrelandColin FairweatherNorthern Ireland200
SemifinalsIrelandAlex GleesonIreland100
SemifinalsIrelandCaolan RaffertyIreland100
MedalistIrelandCaolan RaffertyIreland50

View full results for North of Ireland Open Amateur

ABOUT THE North of Ireland Open Amateur

36 hole stroke play qualifying to determine 64 players for match play.

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