USGA. Winner, winner: Matthew McClean.
# dream
Belfast's McClean wins all-Irish final at US Mid-Amateur and lands big prize
The 29-year-old held off Dubliner Hugh Foley to triumph in Wisconsin.

MATTHEW MCCLEAN WON the all-Irish showdown in the final of the US Mid-Amateur Championship in Wisconson — and a chance to compete in next year’s US Open and Masters.

Belfast’s McClean (29) came out on top against Dubliner Hugh Foley (25) at the Erin Hills course in what was a first appearance for both men at the championship.

McClean was ranked seventh, two places below Foley, and he held off Josh Pears to advance to the decider, which had never had an Irish contestant before.

In the end, he held off good friend and room-mate Foley to land the prestigious prize and become the second international golfer to etch his name on the Robert T. Jones Memorial Trophy.

McClean hailed his “fantastic” win afterwards.

“Sort of probably hasn’t sunk in just yet,” he said. “It’s been a very long week, but I’m sure once we sort of sit down this evening, it’ll sort of sink in a wee bit more, but yeah, it’s unbelievable really.

“Hugh and I have played a lot of golf this year. He’s beaten me twice. I hadn’t beaten… this is the first time I’ve beaten him. It was hard not to think that it was going to be three in-a-row that I was going to get beat. We know each other pretty well; we’re staying with each other for the past two weeks that we’ve been here.

“It’s been fun. It’s probably in a way who I wanted to play in the final, but at the same time it’s not the person you want to lose in the final, as well.

“Hugh has played unbelievable golf this year. For the past three months he’s probably been the best player in Ireland comfortably. So it’s a final; this is still obviously a very, very good week.”

Elsewhere this evening, Padraig Harrington is in action on the Champions Tour. The Dubliner is in the mix at the Sanford Open as he looks to build on his recent glittering form and add to his success.

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