McNamara puts Irish on course for top flight spot

Ireland are in a strong position to claim a top flight spot at the European Amateur Team Championships, at Silkeborg in Denmark after a solid opening day performance.

Bidding to regain the title they last held in 2008, Ireland lie in third place alongside Scotland and another reasonable display today will take them into the last eight for the matchplay phase.

With five of their six cards counting they finished on 371, ten shots behind leaders France and three adrift of second placed Germany.

Rory McNamara was Ireland’s standout performer with his two under 70.

He produced five birdies on the back nine, but bogeyed the 16th and 17th in what was otherwise an impeccable closing nine.

Paul Dunne was one under on the final tee but made a mess of the last and slumped to a double bogey six which saw him finish the day on 73, one over par.

Reeve Whitson and youngster Jack Hume both carded rounds of 75.

Kevin Phelan, was frustrated with his round of 78, which left him six over par.

Today the 16 teams are split into flights, with only the top eight sides able to then go on to claim glory.

And Ireland also have a good chance of making the last eight in the European Boys Team Championship over the Murcar Links in Scotland, thanks largely to strong showings by Irish junior champion Gareth Lappin and Paul McBride.

Lappin and McBride both fired level par scores of 72.

Robin Dawson was steady for a 73 and Sean Flanagan for 74 while James Sugrue’s 77 also counted in Ireland’s total of 368 with Alec Myles recording a non-counting 79.

Ireland finished day one on 368 in sixth place, 13 strokes adrift of leaders Italy.

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