Resurgent Fairweather sets sights on Tour ahead of Ireland debut
Nine years ago, Colin Fairweather was a young teenage prodigy for Knock when they reached the All-Ireland final of the AIG Insurance Senior Cup.
A scratch golfer at 14, Fairweather earned his first Irish Boys cap in 2006, the same year Galway beat the Belfast club in that Senior Cup final at Enniscrone.
Fairweather's father, Gordon, was the club professional at Knock for 20 years so it was almost inevitable that Colin would excel at the game.
To think that he played four seasons with the Irish boys from 2006-09 seems remarkable even now, yet it has taken him until 24 to earn his first senior cap.
And as his club gets ready for another tilt at a Senior Cup title, their leading player is on the cusp of a major breakthrough.
Second at the East of Ireland Amateur Championship in June, Fairweather reached the final of last week's South of Ireland where he was beaten by Stuart Grehan, who also took the title at the East.
Fairweather's consistency has not gone unnoticed and his disappointment at losing to Grehan in Lahinch was tempered by news of his promotion to the Irish senior team for this year's Home Internationals at Royal Portrush.
"It was a goal at the start of the year. I'm absolutely delighted," said Fairweather.
"It's almost like a process that I'm on to get on the European Tour. This is one of the goals along the way."
Fairweather's ambitious plan to make it in the pro game has taken shape over the last two years. As he is working for his father at Bradshaws Brae Driving Range in Newtownards, his schedule is tightly compact.
"I have to go up to Knock first thing in the morning at 6.30 to practise and again late in the evening so I'm absolutely shattered most of the time. It has to be done, there's no other way around it," he said.
Once the Home Internationals conclude on Friday week, Fairweather will travel the short distance to Portstewart for Knock's Ulster semi-final against Castlerock in the AIG Insurance Senior Cup.
"I'll be tired but I enjoy it so much," he said. "I'm 24 now, I can't really waste any more time."
While Ireland will be defending the Raymond Trophy against England, Scotland and Wales at the Home Internationals, Knock will be trying to fend off Castlerock, Lurgan and Shandon Park as they chase their first Ulster title since 2006.
So much has changed for Fairweather in nine years but the challenge is much the same.
AIG Insurance offer GUI/ILGU members exclusive discounted rates on car, home and travel insurance, log on to www.aig.ie/golf or call 1890 405 405 for a quote.