SELFRIDGE JOINS GOLF GREATS

Chris Selfridge from Moyola Park Golf Club is pictured following his win in the North of Ireland Amateur Championship. Chris took the title from Rory McNamara - the defending champion - at Royal Portrush this week. Picture by Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
Chris Selfridge from Moyola Park Golf Club is pictured following his win in the North of Ireland Amateur Championship. Chris took the title from Rory McNamara - the defending champion - at Royal Portrush this week. Picture by Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
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Shane Lowry, Gareth Maybin, Michael Hoey and Open winner Darren Clarke are just some of the great names alongside which Moyola Park’s Chris Selfridge can now be found.

There was an occasion of great celebration at the Casteldawson Golf Club on Saturday as news filtered through that the 21-year-old had won the prestigious North of Ireland Amateur Open Championship held at Royal Portrush.

A second year student at Toledo University, Chris prepared for this five day event when taking a best gross prize during the annual open week on his local course.

The seaside championship had been delayed due to heavy mist while the subsequent blistering heat made it a tough task for the Castledawson golfer. After opening rounds of 76 and 71,Selfridge had just made the matchplay stages when the cut was 147.

However, it was at this stage that the talented Moyola player produced his very best and a first round win over Richardson of Royal Portrush (2 and 1) was swiftly followed by a 4 and 3 success over Ryan Symington from Lisburn.

There was an even more emphatic third round result over Michael Sinclair of Knock (6 and 5) to reach the quarter finals. After a lengthy delay due to mist over the seaside course, Selfridge carried on his good work with a 3 and 2 score against Brian Casey from Headfort.

There was barely time for a rest and a similar semi final result when Ardglass player Cormac Sharvin was beaten, saw Chris Selfridge into the Amateur Open decider last Saturday morning.

A number of fellow members from Moyola Park travelled to Royal Portrush to support Chris, and they were not to be disappointed. After a close fought first eleven holes, the local golfer went one up at the par four 12th, then, significantly, two ahead at the par four 15th when his opponent, Chris Hurley from West Wateford, conceded.

At the 17th,Selfridge saw his third shot , which was 80 yards short of the green,finish six inches from the hole. This left Hurley needing an eagle to tie, and when he duly missed ,Chris Selfridge was crowned 2013 champion.

Just last year, the Castledawson golfer won the Irish Amateur Close Championship at Royal Portrush and also the East of Ireland Amateur Open.

Having added the North Of Ireland Open to an ever growing tally of impressive titles,Selfridge follows in the footsteps of some legendary golfers such as Darren Clarke who have their names inscribed on the famous trophy.While in the past, a number of Moyola Park players have had a big impact on this annual championship, this is the first time one of their members has went all the way for an outright win.

When Chris Selfridge and the trophy were brought home last weekend,there were scenes of great celebration not just in the Moyola Park clubhouse, but Castledawson in general. All offer the local golfer congratulations in what is surely another stepping stone to even greater things!