Thursday 24 August 2017

Irish trio face uphill task

Paul Dunne: 'I got off to a bit of a dodgy start but played nicely after that. Like every event, I'll just take it one step at a time'
Paul Dunne: 'I got off to a bit of a dodgy start but played nicely after that. Like every event, I'll just take it one step at a time'

Brian Keogh

Walker Cup hopefuls Paul Dunne, Cormac Sharvin and Gary Hurley had to dig deep to avoid disaster in the first qualifying round of the US Amateur Open Championship at Olympia Fields in Chicago.

The Top 64 after today's second strokeplay qualifying round will go through to tomorrow's first round of matchplay combat at the club where Al Capone once played regular money matches.

And for a while it look like there would be a sticky end for all three Irish entrants as they struggled on the famous North Course before righting the ship on their homeward nines.

Open Championship hero Dunne fought back from two over after nine to post a one-over 71 that left him provisionally tied 35th, six shots behind early leader Matt NeSmith, who shot a five-under 65 on the South Course.

"I got off to a bit of a dodgy start but played nicely after that. Like every event, I'll just take it one step at a time," he said.

West Waterford and Maynooth University's Hurley, who was second in the European Amateur Championship on his last start, was happy to come back from two double-bogeys in his first six holes to shoot a two-over 72 that matched Ardglass' Sharvin and left them provisionally tied 59th.

Sharvin started with a bogey at the 10th and then dropped three shots in a row from the 14th to turn in four-over 38.

Irish Independent

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