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Magician McAleer twice tops the leaderboard

Eamonn McAleer and Jordan Hyland

Eamonn McAleer and Jordan Hyland

A GIFTED young golfer from Omagh has had a couple of days to remember.

On Tuesday Eamon McAleer became the first Omagh member to be crowned Irish Junior Open champion after carding two under over 36 holes at Killymoon Golf Club.

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Some 24 hours later the Omagh lad was at it again, this time topping the leaderboard in Northern Ireland regional qualifier to play in the European Junior Open to be held in Spain in November.

Eamonn won’t be making that trip on his own as fellow club member Jordan Hyland finished runner-up at Dunmurray Golf Club to book his seat on the plane.

By winning the Irish Junior Open, Eamonn, who finished runner-up last year, gave the Ulster selectors plenty to think about. They recently overlooked the young Omagh member when naming the provincial team.

The club’s youth convenor Susan Anderson hopes the provincial selectors reconsider.

“This success is a massive achievement for Eamonn who missed out on being selected for the Ulster panel. I hope they reconsider his position,” she said.

“As for Eamonn he said after finishing runner-up last year that he was going to come back and win it. He had the hunger and dedication to do it this year.

“This success underlines how things have come on leaps and bounds thanks to the work of Seamus Duffy and his assistant Michael McGeady.

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“The achievement of Eamon and Jordan is fantastic for the junior section. It means the other boys and girls can look up to the high performance players and try and emulate them.

“It’s an endorsement of the junior programme and the work that is now coming to fruition.”

The Junior European Open, in association with the Daily Express, is widely believed to be the toughest test in junior golf in Europe as the Champions week finals in Andalucia, Spain are staged over five rounds including Finca Cortesin, three times venue for the Volvo World Matchplay.

This will be an individual stroke play event played off scratch.

As part of their prizes, Eamonn and Jordan will have all green fees paid for them, seven nights first class accommodation, daily transfers to the golf clubs, specially commissioned individually personalised trophies as well as attending the prize presentation dinner.

Meanwhile Aghyaran lad Conor Byrne has won the Munster under-14 boys’ competition.

Last year Conor, who has been playing the game since he was three years old, recorded a hole-in-one at Strabane Golf Club.

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