Dunbar hits sizzling form
Alan Dunbar stepped up his bid for a place in the Walker Cup team to face the Americans at Aberdeen next month when he fired a splendid opening four-under-par 68 in the European Amateur Individual Championship in Sweden yesterday.
His score, compiled over the Halmstad course, was bettered by only two players, England's Steven Browne and Frenchman Gary Stal, in the 144-strong field.
Browne, runner-up in the English Amateur Championship on Saturday, had four birdies in the last six holes for a sensational 65, while Stal posted 66.
Dunbar -- the 2010 Irish Amateur champion and runner-up in the West of Ireland Championship this year -- went out in level-par 36 and the Rathmore representative then birdied four of the first five holes after the turn before producing a par finish to come home in 32.
Ballymena teenager Dermot McElroy posted a highly creditable 69 with halves of 38 and 31, the best inward score of the day. He had four birdies in the last five holes.
Portstewart's Walker Cup hopeful Paul Cutler struck form on the homeward half to post a back-nine 33 for a three-under-par 69 to keep himself well in contention.
Richard O'Donovan did likewise, adding a 33 to an outward 37 to record a notable 70.
Kevin Phelan was a little disappointed with his 73, which included two bogeys in the last three holes, while Paul Dunne carded a four-over 76.