June 9, 2001
Clemson, SC- Former Clemson golfer Michael Hoey became the first Irishman to win the British Amateur Championship since Garth McGimpsey in 1985 when he won the 36-hole final one-up over Ian Campbell of Wales on Saturday. The event was held at Prestwick in Scotland.
By virtue of the victory, Hoey will play in the British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in July, and will also receive an invitation to the 2002 Masters next April. It also should give him a spot on the 2001 Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team. He could compete against former Clemson teammates Lucas Glover and John Engler in that event. Rosters for those squads will be announced later this summer.
Even though he won the championship by just 1-up, Hoey never trailed in the match. He was one-up after the morning round and was two-up after 12 holes. He had a bogey to lose a hole on the 13th, then Campbell tied the match at 16 with a birdie. But Campbell made bogey on the 17th, giving Hoey the one-hole lead.
Still, Campbell had a three-foot putt for a birdie on the 18th hole that would have tied the match and sent it to a 37th hole, but the Welshman missed the putt. It gave Hoey the victory. Hoey was the second member of his family to play in the final four of the British Amateur. His father, Brian Hoey, reached the semifinals in 1970 at Royal County Down before losing to Bill Hyndman.
Hoey, now 22, played at Clemson his freshman and sophomore years (1998-00). He decided to return to Ireland after the first semester of his sophomore year. He was a starter on Clemson’s 1998-99 team that finished eighth in the nation in the tournament held at Hazeltine in Minnesota. He played 11 tournaments in 1998-99 and had a 73.85 average and had two top 10s.
Hoey played in just two events in the fall of 1999, recording a 74.17 stroke average, before deciding to return to Ireland. He does hold the distinction of being the first Clemson golfer in history to record a hole-in-one in a college tournament. On September 11, 1999 he aced the par three 16th hole at The Ridges in Johnson City, TN. He used a five-iron on the 205-yard hole.
Hoey will be just the second golfer with Clemson ties to play in the British Open. Chris Patton played in the 1990 event after winning the 1989 US Amateur.
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