Sport Golf

Saturday 16 December 2017

Cutler bidding for glory at St Andrews as Links Trophy chiefs slam GUI

Bernie McGuire , at St Andrews

Portstewart's Paul Cutler will attempt to go one better than Rory McIlroy when he tees up in the Links Trophy at St Andrews, which starts today.

Cutler recently became the first player since McIlroy to capture both the Irish Close and West of Ireland titles -- McIlroy achieved the feat six years ago.

Cutler's successes at Rosses Point and at Shannon have all but cemented his place in September's GB&I Walker Cup side. But this week Cutler will look to go one better than McIlroy and add the prestigious Links Trophy to an impressive amateur CV.

The Links Trophy was one of the few major amateur titles to escape McIlroy's grasp and Cutler is forgoing a tilt at the East of Ireland at Baltray to go for it.

"I'm looking forward to hopefully going one up on Rory this week," said Cutler yesterday.

"It's sad not to be playing East of Ireland, but to be here in St Andrews at the 'Home of Golf' is just so special and historic."

Cutler is ranked 46th on the World Amateur list and is the only Irish player inside the top 200.

He is the lone Irishman competing in the Links Trophy, which has surprised organisers the St Andrews Links Trust.

It seems the Golfing Union of Ireland elected not to take up the option of nominating four players.

"The GUI just were not interested in sending any representatives," said a Links Trust spokesperson. "We understand the East of Ireland is also taking place this week, but then the Links Trophy carries more amateur world ranking points and is a little more prestigious in stature.

"Also Nigel Edwards, the Walker Cup captain, is present all week and if anyone is to impress him then you would think it better he does that here at St Andrews than in the East of Ireland.

"So, it's just a very strange decision on the part of the GUI."

Irish Independent

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