Diamond best in the West after edging Healy

It was a polished Diamond — one Harry Diamond from the Belvoir Park club in Belfast — who shone brightest at scenic Rosses Point to take the title in the final of the Radisson Blu West of Ireland Amateur Open Championship yesterday.

Diamond was made to battle all the way by Claremorris’s Stephen Healy in their matchplay decider before claiming a one-hole win.

The Belvoir Park player — who had received a ‘Best of Luck’ text from best buddy, Rory McIlroy, just before teeing off — crept in front when his opponent missed a 12-foot putt at the 16th hole and didn’t relinquish his lead.

Speaking afterwards Diamond observed: “I didn’t play good at all this afternoon. I was changing swing through every hole basically, trying to find something, just couldn’t get it going. ”

“My putter kept me in it. Two great putts on 17 [hole] and another two on the last [secured the win].”

Meanwhile, Healy was honest enough to admit that the magnitude of the final itself did have an effect on him.

“I was nervous at the start as I haven’t played in anything like that in terms of the crowd. I got used to it [the crowd] after a few holes but I wasn’t comfortable.”

Healy had qualified for the decider by overcoming Rory McNamara (Headfort, Meath) 2&1 in their semi-final clash yesterday morning.

Moreover, Diamond had also only made the final thanks to a one-hole win against Co Louth’s Simon Ward in the second last-four encounter.

The 2012 winner now joins some illustrious names as champion of ‘the West’ — including pal McIlroy (2005-6), Shane Lowry (2008) and, before that, Pádraig Harrington (1994).

Day Four scoring:

Final: H Diamond (Belvoir Park) 1 hole over S Healy (Claremorris).

Semi-finals: H Diamond 1 hole over S Ward (Co Louth); S Healy 2 and 1 over R McNamara (Headfort).

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