Robbie Noon and Kayleigh Dawson successfully defended their Isle of Man Golf Championship trophies over the weekend.
The duo were imperious throughout the eight-day competition at Ramsey Golf Club, culiminating in impressive wins against Gerald Bradley and Tilly Davies respectively in Sunday’s finals.
Noon romped to his second successive island title with a comprehensive 9 and 8 victory over Bradley, maintaining his record of not having to play at the least the final three holes in any of his knockout matches throughout the tournament.
Speaking about becoming only the ninth man to retain the title in the near 100-year history of the event, Noon commented: ‘It feels amazing! I hadn’t realised it had been so long since Paul Lowey had won back-to-back championships.
‘This year’s win feels a lot more surreal. Last year it took a while for it to sink in, but this year it feels great because I know that the trophy will still be sat in my living room for another year.
‘I wouldn’t say I had any nervy moments within the championship, as I was able to just stay focused and do the job that was required of me. This has become more achievable thanks to the help of Isle of Man Sport.’
Asked about that run of early victories, he said: ‘Yeah it is some going without having to play the last few holes - it just goes to show how solid my golf was all week.
‘What I hadn’t realised until it had all finished is that I had never gone down in any of my matches all week. which is something I’m proud of.
‘Other notable highlights for the week I’d have to say is having my fiancé [Hannah] caddying for me for the first time in the championship, and also holing my shot for an eagle two from 167 yards in the quarter-finals’
Dawson’s victory was also impressive, especially considering she had only given birth to a baby girl five months ago.
Indeed, baby Olivia was there with dad Robbie Casey on the 14th green when Kayleigh sank the winning putt to clinch the title. A delighted Dawson said: ‘This year’s win felt even more rewarding than last year’s. After only having my daughter in February, it was always a goal to win the championship again this year.
‘But I must admit that I was a little nervous as to whether I would be able to get my game back upto standard in time after taking almost six months off!
‘Then the only nervous moment I had [during the final] was when Tilly had won the first three holes in the first round of the finals.
‘It was definitely a case of first-tee nerves on my part, but once I pulled myself together again and pulled the game back, the nerves disappeared!
‘It was definitely a very special experience seeing [partner] Robbie pushing Olivia around the course watching. We had found out I was pregnant with Olivia just before the 2022 championship and I remember imagining what both life and the 2023 championships would look like.
‘Safe to say it was a very happy and emotional moment when Robbie brought Olivia onto the 14th green after sinking my putt to win!
‘Winning the championship has definitely given me an extra confidence boost going into the Island Games in Guernsey. I feel very confident with my game and can’t wait for the Games to start!’