Irish eyes smile on Matthew

Former Northumberland county player Matthew McClean is heading to The Masters and US Open after winning the US Mid-Amateur Championship at Erin Hills.

Matthew – who played for Northumberland in 2017, including the county’s trip to the English Men’s County Championship at Trevose – overcame fellow Irish international Hugh Foley in the 36-hole final.

The 29-year-old optometrist, from Malone Golf Club, closed out a 3&1 victory over 25-year-old Hugh over the Wisconsin layout, which hosted the 2017 US Open.

Asked what it felt like to be a USGA champion, Matthew said: “It’s unbelievable really. To get a win was the goal for the year and to do it in the last event, especially this one with all its significance… I’m over the moon.”

David Gilroy, who captained the Northumberland team which Matthew earned eight caps for, added: “I’m delighted for Matthew and his family, who have always supported his golf and joined us a number of times while he was in the North East. He is such a great guy, easy to get on with and a tremendous team player. We’ll all be cheering him on in the majors next season.”