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Egan overcomes demons to win West of Ireland at Rosses Point – News – Irish Golf Desk

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Five years after he lost the South of Ireland final, Kildare man Keith Egan buried his demons to deny local hero David Brady and claim the Connolly Motor Group-sponsored West of Ireland Amateur Open Championship at Rosses Point.

“Finally,” the 31-year-strength and conditioning coach said after he followed a 3&2 semi-final win over Clandeboye’s Ross Latimer with another 3&2 win over County Sligo’s David Brady in the final.

The decider, which began in brilliant sunshine and ended under a forbidding sky, proved a bridge too far for Brady, who was bidding to become the first pre-qualifier to lift the trophy.

The 27-year-old Bank of America employee might have been playing out of Straffan, but he left everything on the Rosses Point links over the course of six days, playing 186 holes between pre-qualifying, practice and eight rounds of championship golf.

He had to go six extra holes to beat Castleknock’s Paul Coughlan with a birdie in his marathon semi-final. But he couldn’t muster a birdie in the final and Egan proved too strong in the end.

“My goal over the last few years is just winning championships,” said an emotional Egan, whose mother hails from nearby Strandhill.  “I got close in 2019, losing in the final of the South and how I handled that situation has haunted me ever since.

“I was very determined this week. I knew I was playing well, I knew the course and I knew I had the grit to come out on top.”

Egan had to wait nearly two hours after his semi-final win to get going as Brady and Coughlan delivered a thrilling semi-final duel that went to the sixth extra hole and forced the final to be put back by 45 minutes.

The local hero was three-up with five holes to play but made four fives in a row — bogeys at the 14th and 15th, a double bogey at the 16th, and another bogey at the 17th —to be one down playing the 18th.

He dug deep and hit a stellar wedge stone dead there and was conceded a birdie three that forced extra holes, and he would eventually win with a birdie at the 24th after Coughlan failed to make a birdie all day, crucially three-putting from just off the back of the 21st for par.

That birdie at the 24th turned out to be Brady’s last birdie of the day, and that proved fatal against a relentless Egan in a final watched by 400 spectators, most of them locals.

“The weather here is miserable every year, and when we have good weather, the people turn out,” said High-Performance squad member Egan after playing 16 holes in an estimated level par to win his first championship.

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