Northern Ireland has another name to be proud of in the golf world. Alan Dunbar is latest from the area to light up the golf world after winning the Amateur Championship at Royal Troon. The 23-year-old defeated Austrian teenager Matthias Schwab by one hole to become the third Northern Irish winner after Michael Hoey in 2001 and Garth McGimpsey in 1985. The Portrush amateur adds the Amateur Championship trophy going to Northern Ireland after Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy won the 2010 and 2011 US Opens respectively, and Darren Clarke’s victory in last year’s Open Championship at Royal St George’s. He credited his putter for making the difference.
“My putting was great all week,” Dunbar said. “I struggled with the long game as the week went on and I had to rely on my putting.”
A meeting from his coach shortly before traveling to Troon might have made the difference for Dunbar. “I had a lesson with my coach Seamus Duffy last week at Castlerock, and he said if you win the Amateur you’re taking me to the Masters. So I suppose that was a bit of motivation,” he said. Dunbar has benefitted from coaching through The R&A supported Darren Clarke Foundation. He gains a place in next month’s Open Championship, a place in next year's US Open and traditionally, an invitation to the Masters Tournament at Augusta National. His next appointment is an invitation to this week’s Irish Open at Royal Portrush.