Thursday 5 December 2019

Cutler plays leading role

Paul Cutler was on fire as Ireland worked themselves into a strong position to clinch a last-eight spot in the European Amateur Team Championship in Portugal.

The 22-year-old Walker Cup hopeful from Portstewart led the Irish assault in the Algarve with a stunning six-under-par 66 over the Oceanica course, comprising halves of 32 and 34.

All the Irish players gave impressive displays, with West Waterford's Kevin Phelan, who qualified for last year's US Open, posting four successive birdies from the 12th en route to a 68.

Ireland totalled a 12-under-par 348, which put them in fifth. A solid performance today will take them into the quarter-finals.

Spain lead the way ahead of France and Germany, while defending champions England are in seventh spot.

The Irish boys, though, will have to step it up a gear if they are to progress to the quarter-finals of their championship in Prague.

They finished the opening day in 14th place on a 10-over-par 370, 20 strokes behind leaders Germany and six adrift of sixth-placed Scotland.

Gary Hurley was the best of the Irish, posting a 70, while Alex Gleeson shot a 71.

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