With little time to celebrate his Longshot victory, the winner of this year’s Irish Amateur Close got right back to work at one of Dublin’s busiest Garda stations.
arda Quentin Carew claimed the stunning win at Headfort Golf Club last Wednesday and still has to come to terms with being rated 200/1 at the start of the tournament.
Returning to the frontline police force at Tallaght Garda Station on Friday, he told Independent.ie the victory was still sinking in.
“Going back to work was a dose of reality for me, you’re straight back into it and we’re busy here.
“[On Thursday]I was sitting at home and the amount of texts and calls I was getting trying to catch up and make sure I get back to everyone.
“It felt incredible, I’m still trying to understand that it really happened.”
The 31-year-old, originally from Allenwood in Kildare but now a member of Castleknock Golf Club, beat Hugh Foley with an eagle on the 20th hole in a match play final, sealing his biggest career win to date.
It was a game he hadn’t expected to be in days earlier, saying he “didn’t expect at all” to qualify for the matchplay finals.
“(On Sunday) I was out with some juniors hitting balls with them and my brother yelled at me from the parking lot, ‘one of the guys dropped some shots’ and that I was in.
“I didn’t even have time to process it, I went home to get my racquets ready and was one of the first groups on Monday morning.”
He showed his talent by defeating leading qualifier Alex Maguire in the first round and continued his form into the semi-finals where he beat Enniscorthy’s Paul Conroy by a hole.
Reaching the final was all the more impressive when, 18 months ago, he was still struggling with a serious back injury that he sustained in a fall on duty.
“After the quarter-finals my back was bad, I took a lot of painkillers. The chiropractor took me in the evening and reset everything.
“My spine wasn’t in line so my left leg was two inches longer than the right leg, but he brought me back and I was able to swing freely and didn’t need pain meds after that.”
In the final he faced Hugh Foley who was vying to become the first man since Darren Clarke in 1990 to win the North of Ireland, South of Ireland and Irish Close titles in the same season.
Despite a slow start, he came back at Foley and hit an impressive eagle on the par-5 16th.
Both had chances in 17th, 18th and 19th before Quentin Carew hit a career-best 267 yards for two irons at eight feet (523 yards) and rolled the eagle putt to glory in 20th place.
“I’ve been playing in them since I was 16 or 17 and I got on stage and I wondered if it was ever going to happen and luckily it finally happened.
“I was kind to give my mum and dad for everything they’ve done for me and my brothers, for all the calls saying things weren’t good this week. To finally give something back to them,” he said.
After having two days to celebrate the win, he returned to work in Tallaght on Friday, where he was based for four years after graduating from Garda Training College.
When asked about balancing shift work and golf practice, Garda Carew said late nights and early mornings can be tricky, but he’s prevailed this year in particular and is now reaping the rewards.
“(The Guards) has always been something I wanted to do and was interested in. I love being here and the job, every day is different and I love the variety in it.
“The people here and in my unit are great too, and it’s a great station. We’re also very close, we’re all friends, which is very nice. It’s good to have that and not wishing the day was over or anything like that.”
He is now preparing for next month’s Irish Mid-Amateur as well as several other tournaments and is already focused on next year.
“It won’t be a big break, I’ll be going to the gym (over the winter) then get ready and go.
“I want to move on now, I’m on a high from all of this. I published my name and now I want to make sure it stays there.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/irish-amateur-close-winner-is-frontline-garda-back-on-duty-41926705.html The Irish amateur Close winner is back on duty at Frontline Garda