Jamie Fletcher overcame local lad Michael Reid in a sudden-death playoff to claim the Specsavers Ballymena sponsored North of Ireland Amateur Open Strokeplay Title at Galgorm Castle Golf Club yesterday.
With it, the Warrenpoint player earned his place in the 2016 Tayto Northern Ireland in partnership with Ulster Bank on the European Challenge Tour.
The plus-one handicapper shot rounds of 72 and 69 to finish level with Reid (74,67) after 36 holes, with both players finishing one clear of Bangor’s Jack Owens (72,70), North West’s James Lindsay (70,72) and Knock’s Irish international Colin Fairweather (71, 71).
Twenty-year old Fletcher, coached by PGA Professional Dougie Bell birdied the par-5 18th twice, which second time round was good enough as Reid, from the host club, could only manage a par.
The Warrenpoint man was delighted with his victory and is relishing the opportunity to test his game against some of Europe’s finest players.
“I’m over the moon to get the win and really can’t wait to tee it up in July on the European Challenge Tour.
“Fair play to Michael, we played together for the original 36 holes and there was nothing between us all day.
“The course was in great condition and the greens were superb, I can’t wait to play in front of the big crowds in July.”
The Tayto Northern Ireland Open, in partnership with Ulster Bank takes place at Galgorm Castle from July 27th – 31st.
Once again the NI Open will be free to enter. All the general public will have to do is register online at www.niopen.co.uk to get their free tickets.
Further information on the NI Open can be found at: www.niopen.golf