Liam Dowling earns trip to Open Championship with trick shot for Rory McIlroy

Young Mallow golfer Liam Dowling has beaten competition from more than 20,000 golfers to win a trip to the Open Championship, starting tomorrow, at St Andrews Golf Course and meet world number one Rory McIlroy.

The 15-year old entered a competition on McIlroy’s Twitter page, which asked golfers to post videos of their finest trick shots using the hashtag #mybestshot.

The shot, filmed by two of Liam’s friends, Greg Barrett and Roy Whelan, as well Liam’s brother Kevin, saw Liam chip a golf ball 45m onto a trampoline before the ball bounced up another 18m and straight into an open wheelie bin.

Playing off a handicap of four, Liam was a member of Mallow Golf Club’s Fred Daly Home Nations winning side in 2013. He made several attempts at the trick shot before eventually nailing it to delight of both himself and his friends.

“I can’t really believe this has happened,” Liam said yesterday. “We were only messing around in the garden doing some chipping and we decided we would try to come up with an idea to enter the competition on Rory’s Twitter page.

“When we decided what to do we set it up and started having a go. I got a few close before I landed the winning shot. It was a great feeling.”

A few days after Liam posted the clip to Twitter, it was ‘liked’ and ‘shared’ by four-time major winner McIlroy. A week later, Liam was given the good news.

“I was contacted by the official Open Twitter page and they told me I had won,” he said. “I didn’t believe it at first but then I went online to see. It hasn’t sunk in yet.”

While global recognition may be something Liam needs to get used to, the importance he places on his own game means he will take not up the offer until late on Friday, as he is competing in the Munster Boys at his home club this week.


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