Sport Golf

Monday 5 December 2016

Gleeson cuts out mistakes to win

Brian Keogh

Published 22/08/2016 | 02:30

Alex Gleeson. Photo: Pat Cashman
Alex Gleeson. Photo: Pat Cashman

Castle's Alex Gleeson hailed the mental game as key as he overcame his emotions to beat international team-mate John-Ross Galbraith and lift the AIG Irish Amateur Close title for his first 'major' win at a sensational Ballyliffin.

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While the GUI amended the result from 2 & 1 to 3 & 1 - Whitehead star Galbraith was considered to have conceded the 17th hole as well as the match after an entertaining battle over the magnificent Glashedy Links - there was no doubt that Gleeson won the mental battle for the title.

"I knew the mistakes I made last year going into that final and didn't make them this year," Gleeson said of losing to Tiarnan McLarnon in Tramore 12 months ago.

"I was a lot more calm and composed. I have done a lot of work with my coach John Langan the last few years to become as consistent as possible.

"I have also been doing a lot of work with Dr Kate Kirby, who is a sports psychologist, on focusing in on the shot and keeping level-headed and not getting too up and too down over shots. I have kept my emotions pretty much intact."

Galbraith fell victim to that error and while he conceded that Gleeson was "the deserved winner", he admitted that it took him several holes to calm down after a mental error cost him the sixth.

"I took an extra putt on the fifth green and rushed up onto the sixth tee and didn't really think about what shot to hit and just took a three wood, spun up into the wind and end up stuck on a bank and could make the green," said 2014 winner Galbraith, who won the silver medal awarded to the leading qualifier.

"The sixth hole really annoyed me and it took four holes to get over it, which was really annoying. He was three up by the time I started to settle and plug away and it was too much in the end."

Irish Independent

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