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Amateur Dunbar ready to sacrifice Augusta glory for precious Tour card

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The Rathmore man, who won the Amateur Championship in June, has automatic exemption to next year's US Masters providing he stays in the unpaid ranks.

The Rathmore man, who won the Amateur Championship in June, has automatic exemption to next year's US Masters providing he stays in the unpaid ranks.

The Rathmore man, who won the Amateur Championship in June, has automatic exemption to next year's US Masters providing he stays in the unpaid ranks.

ALAN DUNBAR heads into the first phase of the European Tour Qualifying School in the north of England today knowing that success could eventually cause him a major dilemma.

The Rathmore man, who won the Amateur Championship in June, has automatic exemption to next year's US Masters providing he stays in the unpaid ranks, but says if he is offered a Tour card, he may well give that a miss and seek fame and fortune instead.

After winning the Amateur, the Co Antrim golfer (23) said: "I would have to think long and hard if I got my card. It would be a choice between a marvellous experience in Augusta and 20 or so definite starts on Tour with the potential to make money."

Before making that decision, though. Dunbar has to survive three Q-School stages, starting this week at Wychwood Park, Crewe.

It is a very strong field with a healthy group of Irishmen, including former Walker Cup player Paul Cutler, who has disappointed as a professional.

Jonathan Caldwell, David Jones and Matt McAlpine complete the Northern Ireland contingent. From the south, there will be Cian Curley, Donal Gleeson, David Higgins and Barrie Trainor.

At the Q-School in Germany, Stephen Grant, Niall Kearney and Shane Franklin hope to progress.

Irish Independent