Campbell holds off Hume to claim title
Published 09/05/2016 | 02:30
Warrenpoint's Colm Campbell catapulted himself into the big time in more ways that one when he held off a spectacular back nine charge from Jack Hume - including a 60-foot bomb at the 18th - to win the Flogas Irish Amateur Open by a shot.
The 29-year-old international bravely handed in his notice as a shop manager for 02-UK just over a year ago so he could play amateur golf full-time, battle to make all the top teams and prepare for a September shot at the European Tour Qualifying School.
And it worked like a dream as he won in wire-to-wire fashion, carding a 70 for a sensational 16 under par total at Royal Dublin, where world No 10 and Walker Cup star Hume came from six shots back with 10 holes to play to take the title race to the wire.
The Naas ace found his putting touch and birdied the ninth, 13th, 14th and 16th to get to within just one of an impressive Campbell, with two holes to play.
The 2014 East of Ireland champion looked to have the title in the bag when he rammed home a 25-footer for birdie at the 17th to go two ahead, and then reduced the famed 'Garden' hole 18th to a rescue and a laser-like nine-iron to 30 feet. With Hume missing the green left, it looked all over. But the Kildare man - one of five Irish heroes in last year's record Walker Cup win over the US - holed a 60-footer from just off the green for an unlikely birdie.
"I'm thinking 'don't three-putt'," Campbell confessed afterwards when asked what it was like to stand over his 30-footer with two putts to win. "Don't leave myself a three or four-footer.
"To be fair, it was a nice putt, it was downhill, sort of a wee bit of right to left. It was a nice putt to be able to tap in and become the Irish Amateur Open champion."
Campbell also won wire-to-wire at Baltray in 2014, holding off Paul Dunne for the East - so he was especially proud to edge out a star like Hume and win an automatic start in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at The K Club next week.
"It shows I'm heading in the right direction," said Campbell. "If you can hold guys like Jack off, who's a phenomenal player, who knows what can happen in the near future?"
Disappointed not to claim his third individual win of 2016 after his special finish, Hume said: "My putt there put a lot of pressure on Collie.
"It was really fun and I am delighted for Collie. He gets to play the Irish Open now.
"He won it. No one handed it to him."