Declan crowned All-Ireland champion

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Talented City of Derry Golf Club member, Declan Burns ended the year in spectacular fashion when winning the Irish One Armed Golfers Open Championship in Athenry.

Played in wet and windy conditions at the scenic Athenry Golf Club, the Culmore Road man overcame the inclement weather to emerge victorious with a fantastic 40 points.

This year has been particularly noteworthy for Declan who had already won major honours at the One-Armed World Golf Championships at Ballater Golf Club in Aberdeenshire.

The 45 year-old won the inaugural Handicap Trophy when competing against the best one-armed golfers in the world on that occasion.

However his Irish Championship victory will no doubt be the highlight of his career so far.

Declan (24), who lost his right arm in a motorbike accident in London 15 years ago, gave himself plenty to do after a slow start to the final round.

Weather Deteriorated

And yet, as the weather deteriorated, Declan soon found his form after chipping in from the edge of the green on the fourth hole for a net eagle and four points.

He went on to build on that on his way to claiming a championship winning 40 points.

The local Software Engineer from Kingsfort Park, claimed the specially designed gloves he was wearing on the day gave him an added edge over the rest of the field in the wet conditions.

“The confidence in my game and swing was aided by the security of knowing that I had complete grip on my clubs because of the Mac Wet Climatec glove I was wearing,” said Declan.

“As a one armed golfer, difficulty in maintaining grip on my clubs is heightened, if not nearly impossible, in wet weather.

“Not once did any club slip or twist in my hand at impact which gave me an advantage on the day.”

The Irish Championship was played on a Saturday with 14 competitors and one visitor taking part.

Declan claimed the Youghal Carpets Trophy with a great score of 40 points ahead of Martin Egan who registered 34 points. Brendan Swan finished third with 30 points while the Terry Adams Cup for the Gross prize was won by Cian Arthurs with a score of 90. The Bill Owens Cup for the high handicap division was won by Paddy Fitzgerald with 29 points.