Hot putter helps Selfridge book a final date against surprise packet Hurley

Intriguing North of Ireland Amateur final in store at Royal Portrush

Chris Selfridge: Defeated both Brian Casey and Cormac Sharvin yesterday en route to the final.

Chris Selfridge: Defeated both Brian Casey and Cormac Sharvin yesterday en route to the final.


Big Chris Selfridge from Moyola Park pulled an old putter out of the bag to mend his pains on the green and it has worked like magic. He is in this morning’s final of the Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Open Championship, at Royal Portrush.

Yesterday, the University of Toledo undergraduate marched through his quarter-final and semi-final with comfort to book a dawn date with young six-footer Gary Hurley from West Waterford.

Selfridge prevented Brian Casey from keeping the silverware at Headfort with a 3 & 2 quarter-final defeat and then sent Irish Close champion Cormac Sharvin packing in the afternoon semis on the same score.

That, undoubtedly, was the result of the day as many people felt the Ardglass man would do the double.

“Since I came home, last week, I tried five different putters but in the end I went back to an old adjustable Ping that I used in the past. It seemed to work extremely well in this championship so I’ll stick with it now,” revealed Chris.

“The big difference today was that the putts disappeared into the hole. In the Brabazon they just wouldn’t drop and I finished 28th,” said Selfridge.

“In the afternoon, against Cormac, I birdied nine, 10 (for a half) and 11 to be three up. I felt that I was always in control, not worried when he came back at me to win the 12th in birdie.”

“He played better than me and certainly putted better,” said Casey. “He was a good winner.”

In the semis, Sharvin was disappointed at defeat but not downcast. “It was nice to get to the semi-final but my game isn’t just where I’d like it to be. I can’t see Chris been beaten in the final. Every time I made a mistake he cashed in. Anyhow, I have gone a step better than last year and that’s improvement,” he added.

Hurley (20) has been the surprise packet of the championship and, yesterday, he comfortably dismissed Michael Reid (Galgorm Castle) and Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock) with 6&5 and 6&4 victories.

Reid never reproduced the form he showed when knocking out short-priced Matt McKnight on Thursday and it was something similar with Lenehan who is a Munster team mate of Hurley.