James Fox clinches North of Ireland Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush
James Fox (Golfer Life Photo)
James Fox (Golfer Life Photo)

James Fox, hailing from Portmarnock, clinched the North of Ireland championship title after a thrilling countback in the diminishing twilight at Royal Portrush, a renowned venue for the Open Championship, having hosted the event in both 1951 and 2019 in Northern Ireland.

Fox and Robert Moran both finished at 4-under to force the playoff, with Fox posting rounds of 66-72-76-77 and Moran posting rounds of 65-74-76-76. The final day witnessed competitors battling for the title amidst gusty winds at 31 mph.

After a bogey on No. 18, a playoff was needed between Fox and Moran.

Despite both players navigating three extra playoff holes without a decisive outcome, they were informed beforehand that a card countback would be employed if the light faded. With the score still level after the extra holes, Fox was the winner.

In anticipation of heavy rain during the final round, the organizers decided to reduce the course length by 300 yards, prompting competitors to tee off from the white tees. Colm Campbell from Warrenpoint had an early three-shot lead in the final round, but that advantage gradually diminished, and Fox briefly joined him atop the leaderboard at 1-over.

While other contenders made their bids and faded away, it was Fox who managed to maintain his lead well into the back nine.

This was Fox's first championship.

Hugh Foley, the defending champion, shot 8-over to miss the 36-hole cut by three- strokes. The tournament saw participation from 123 players, of which 45 made the cut.

Results: North of Ireland Open Amateur
1IrelandJames FoxIreland40066-72-76-77=291
2IrelandRobert MoranIreland30065-74-76-76=291
T3IrelandEoin MurphyIreland20071-71-81-71=294
T3EnglandMax BerrisfordEngland20070-71-76-77=294
T3IrelandGraham DonohoeIreland20066-76-79-73=294

View full results for North of Ireland Open Amateur

ABOUT THE North of Ireland Open Amateur

Formerly a match play event until 2022, this is now a 72-hole stroke play event played over both courses at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.

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