Jordan brings Irish title back to Ballymena
THE Irish Boys Close Championship trophy – the Blue Riband event in boys’ golf in this country – is back in Ballymena for a second successive year.
Galgorm Castle teenager Jordan Hood catapulted his name to the forefront of Irish junior golf by landing the prestigious accolade at Ardee Golf Club last week.
Chosen by the Ulster Branch of the Golfing Union of Ireland to take part in developmental coaching a number of times, Hood had never won a major event before his maiden win at the County Louth course, and having only turned 16, has time on his side to add to his first win.
He opened his week by playing just one practice round at Ardee, he started with a round of 70 to leave him on 1 under par heading into day two.
The second day was to be his worst of the week, carding a 76 to leave him seven shots behind the halfway leader, Peter McKeever, of Castle Golf Club.
On the final day, his morning round of 68 was the best of the 51 qualifiers and he followed it up with an excellent one over par 72 in blustery conditions.
“Ecstatic, it’s incredible,” was the teenager’s reaction to his success.
“I just came here to try and have a decent week and it’s unreal.
“My last shot into the 54th hole (18 in round three) was my best of the week, a seven iron to two feet and that birdie lifted me going into the final round.
“This is a massive win for me,” added Jordan.
The 2010 champion, Ballymena Golf Club’s Dermot McElroy, led going into the final round, but a four putt on the 11th green and a double bogey on the index 1 14th, all but sealed his fate, finishing in third place.