Rowan Lester. Picture: Pat Cashman
Freshman Rowan Lester completed a wire-to-wire win in the NAIA Individual National Championship TPC Deere Run in Illinois.
The Dubliner closed with a final round 74 at the rain-soaked tour track 160 miles west of Chicago on Friday to win by three shots on three-over 287.
His performance led the Texas Wesleyan University Rams back into contention for the title on their way to a third place finish.
Lester’s win marked the second consecutive year that the NAIA Individual title was won by a freshman from Texas Wesleyan following David Ravetto’s win last season.
Rowan Lester in action for Texas Wesleyan
The Hermitage international stormed in front with a two under 69 on a windy opening day, then added two 72s to lead by one with a round to go before closing out a three-stroke win with a grinding 74 in tough conditions.
“It was similar to yesterday,” Lester said following the final round. “I didn’t play that well, but I chipped and putted amazingly. From number nine to fourteen, I think I had four one-putts and many of those were to par.
“That kept me in it. I stuck to what I could hit well, and my putting was just amazing all week.”
Lester’s title extended Texas Wesleyan’s record to 11 individual national championships. The top-5 finish was Texas Wesleyan’s 37th top-5 finish at the NAIA National Championship all-time.
The 21-year-old flies home on Sunday and is one of 10 Irish players entered for the Brabazon Trophy, which begins at Woodhall Spa on Thursday.
Brabazon Trophy entrants
- Alex Gleeson Castle
- Colin Fairweather Knock
- Colm Campbell Warrenpoint
- Conor O’Rourke Naas Golf Club
- Conor Purcell Portmarnock
- John Ross Galbraith Whitehead
- Kevin LeBlanc The Island
- Robin Dawson Tramore
- Rowan Lester Hermitage
- Tiarnan McLarnon Massereene
from News – Irish Golf Desk http://ift.tt/2pVnjAW