DAVID Corsby withstood the challenge of the two highest-ranked players in the field to win the Radisson-SAS West of Ireland championship in sensational fashion at Rosses Point yesterday.
Corsby, who was ranked 1438th in the R and As World Amateur Rankings before this week, played a thrilling semi-final with Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney, and then a sensational final with the defending champion, Shane Lowry, before taking the title with a birdie at the first extra play-off hole.
“I’m overwhelmed really. I’m delighted to have won something,” Corsby said. “I’ve been playing a while and haven’t really won anything. It’s a great start to the season – I couldn’t ask for better than that.”
Corsby birdied the 18th to beat Kearney in the semi-final, but lost the first two holes to Lowry in the final. He eagled the third, only for Lowry to match it to stay two ahead.
“I just thought, here we go,” Corsby reflected of his thoughts after the fourth. “We’re going to be in for this all day. I just thought about trying my best and hopefully he would make a mistake. But he didn’t actually – my putting was very good.”
Lowry had continued his consistent form against Cian Curley (Newlands) in the semi-final, advancing by 4 and 2 to meet the 21-year-old from Lytham in the final.
However, after his fast start, he yielded the fourth to a par to reduce his lead to one. The fifth was halved in birdies, but Corsby rolled in a 35-foot putt on the sixth to go level, and then holed another from 30 feet on the ninth to move ahead.
Lowry levelled matters again on the 11th, but Corsby returned the favour with a birdie on the 12th to go ahead once again. Another birdie from the Englishman at the 15th, from 30 feet, put him two ahead, but Lowry dug deep, winning the 17th when Corsby found trouble off the tee and then birdying the last to take the match into sudden-death.
However, Lowry could have no answer to Corsby’s magnificent wedge to within a foot of the cup, ending the defending champion’s tilt
“I’m actually not too disappointed to be honest,” Lowry said afterwards. “I left a couple of putts out there and that’s what cost me towards the end. But he holed everything. I was hitting it inside him all day and then he would hole it. It was amazing.”
Semi-finals: S Lowry (Esker Hills) bt C Curley (Newlands) 4 /2, D Corsby (England) bt N Kearney (Royal Dublin) 2 holes
Final: Corsby bt Lowry 19th
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