Monday 23 April 2018

Cutler fluffs his lines in Q-School woe

Chris Smart

Paul Cutler flunked out of the European Tour Q-School last night, missing the 54-hole cut in his Stage One qualifier at Frilford Heath by one stroke on 15-over par after an unhappy third-round 78.

After his heroics at the Walker Cup, where he was top-scorer in the rout of the US at Royal Aberdeen, the Portstewart man had to endure a thoroughly disappointing three days in Oxfordshire.

Cutler could only manage a tie for 75th, 23 strokes behind leader Martin Lemesurier after posting lacklustre rounds of 77, 76 and yesterday's 78.

Yet the 22-year-old need not panic, according to his agent Conor Ridge.

"I am confident we will be able to acquire plenty of invitations for Paul to tournaments on the European and Challenge Tours.

"A player of his stature and ability will always have somewhere to play," explained Ridge, pointing out that Cutler will tee it up in the prestige Andalucia Masters in Valderrama the week after next.

Cutler already has appeared twice on Tour since last month's Walker Cup. He missed the cut at the Austrian Open and again at last week's Dunhill Links Championship, only deciding to play in Scotland as a mark of respect to his recently deceased grandfather.

While Cutler struggled, Ballinasloe's Mark Staunton flourished and in difficult windy conditions fired a 74 for a 214 total. He goes into round four today in sixth position.

Waterville's David Higgins, with a 77, is on 220 and in equal 15th place, while Dara Lernihan just made it to the final day on the mark of 229.

Meanwhile, at Ribagolfe in Portugal, Derry's Michael McGeady moved into second place with a 72 for a 211 aggregate, only two strokes off the pace set by Swede Bjorn Petersson.

McGeady looks set to make it into the second qualifying stage in December, as does Chris Devlin on 213, while Brendan McCarroll on 217 has an excellent chance as well.

Details in facfile

Irish Independent

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