Ulster Stroke Play: Campbell and Ross book World Invitational berths

Colm Campbell and Jessica Ross after winning the Ulster Stroke Play titles at Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort
Colm Campbell and Jessica Ross can now look forward to playing in the inaugural World Invitational in August

Colm Campbell and Jessica Ross have secured spots at the inaugural World Invitational in August by winning the Ulster Stroke Play titles at Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort.

Warrenpoint's Campbell shots rounds of 69,73, 72 and 70 to finish two ahead of Carton House's Marc Boucher.

Clandeboye's Ross level-par total left her 12 clear of Lurgan's Maeve Cummins after rounds of 76, 73, 71 and 76.

The runners-up and third-placed pair also earned World Invitational spots.

Malone's Matthew McClean was third in the men's tournament - five behind Campbell - with Ballinrobe's Shannon Burke taking third in the women's event after finishing 15 off the pace over the 72 holes.

Chemical engineer Ross' final round included an eagle three on the 18th and a stunning birdie from 170 yards on the fourth hole after she found trouble off the tee.

Off a plus-four handicap, Ross makes the trip to St Andrews for the St Rule Trophy later this week but she is already looking forward to returning to the Ballymena venue in August.

"I've never played a professional event before so it will be cool to see how your game matches up with the world's best," said the Clandeboye player.

Campbell, who has spent the last two years fighting his way back to fitness following a hand injury, was clinching his first championship since the 2016 Irish Amateur Open at Royal Dublin.

"I struggled with the injuries as most people know and then I lost my granddad as well on top of that who was a big supporter of me and this one is for him," said Campbell.

The Warrenpoint man has played in a number of professional events but says he is delighted at the prospect of teeing up in the new men's and women's tournament which will be played at both Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort and Massereene from 15-18 August.

"That's one of the main reasons I came here and teed it up this week," added Campbell.

"It's brilliant, especially for the ladies' game. They play to an exceptional standard. I think it's only right and it's great to see."

The Northern Ireland Open is transforming into the new title which will see the European Challenge Tour event and the women's tournament having equal prize money.

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