Five Irishmen finished with top-20 placings in Penati with West Waterford’s Gary Hurley leading the way, just missing out on victory and taking second place, a shot behind Italy’s Stefano Mazzoli, with The Island’s Gavin Moynihan also on the podium in third.
Late Home Internationals call-up Robin Dawson from Faithlegg took a share of sixth while Greystones’ Open Championship hero Paul Dunne shot a final-round 68 to leap 18 places for a tie in 11th. Naas’s Jack Hume tied 19th.
The strong showing is timely, not just with Moynihan, Dawson and Hume moving on to Royal Portrush for this week’s Home Internationals while Hurley, Dunne and Comrac Sharvin head for Chicago and next week’s US Amateur at Olympia Fields.
The end of the Home Internationals will see the announcement of the Great Britain & Ireland’s Walker Cup team for next month’s matches with the United States at Lytham.
All five Irish panelists on the extended Walker Cup squad made the cut in Slovakia with Hurley closing with a 72 to just miss out in the wind and heat of the final afternoon at Penati.
“Gary was disappointed. He didn’t get what he could have but overall it was a great achievement. There were a lot of positives from the week,” Irish team captain Tony Goode said before turning his attention to Portrush.
“Home advantage can be good and bad but the boys certainly know the course very well.
“It also brings a lot of extra pressure on them to win it.
“There’s also tough opposition. Scotland are European champions and England will have a very strong team, albeit with some of their lads going to the US Amateur as well.
“But our lads are all playing well and I couldn’t fault them for their preparation, attitude and work ethic. I couldn’t say a negative word about any of them.
“They were desperately disappointed that they didn’t win the Europeans. They were the best team there but it just fell short for them.”