McIlroy leads Irish Amateur Open field

Sixteen-year old Rory McIlroy, who successfully defended the West of Ireland Championship last weekend, heads the entries for the AIB Irish Amateur Open Championship.

Sixteen-year old Rory McIlroy, who successfully defended the West of Ireland Championship last weekend, heads the entries for the AIB Irish Amateur Open Championship.

The championship will be held at Portmarnock Golf Club on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 12, 13 and 14. There will be 65 overseas players from 12 countries including Australia, Belgium, Chile, England and the USA.

The cut-off for the field of 120 fell at plus 0.5 with three players on plus 0.4 mark, and the high quality of the field is indicated by the fact that the entry includes seven players off plus four, 13 off plus three and 35 off plus two. McIlroy, who will celebrate his 17th birthday on 4th May has the lowest handicap at plus 4.1.

The field also includes 37-year-old Walker Cup star Nigel Edwards from Wales who this year's South African Amateur Open Championship and topped the field in the Sherry Cup at Sotogrande.

Also included are three players who qualify under a condition of the event which allows any Irish entrant under 21 who reached the matchplay stages of the West of Ireland Championship to gain a place in the field. They are Thomas O’Neill (Rathsallagh), Wayne McCully (Donaghadee) and Andrew Hogan (Newlands).

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