Tuesday 20 March 2018

Dunbar illness hits Irish hopes

Ireland suffered a major blow before a ball was struck in the World Amateur Team Championships for the Eisenhower Trophy in Turkey yesterday as Alan Dunbar had to pull out of the opening round due to sickness.

The 22-year-old Walker Cup star from Rathmore completed all the practice sessions, but was struck by a sickness bug overnight and had to stay in his hotel room, while Kevin Phelan and Gavin Moynihan went into battle.

It was not known whether Dunbar, the British Amateur champion, would be fit enough to play today.

Both Phelan and teenager Moynihan staged spirited performances over the PGA Sultan course at Antalya, but because of Dunbar's absence, both their scores had to count in the aggregate.

Phelan, the Florida-based Waterford man, made a sensational start.

He began at the 10th and covered his first nine holes in a five-under-par 31, but then suffered a hiccup, dropping strokes on three consecutive holes before regaining his composure and picking up another birdie in a fine 68.

Moynihan, who has enjoyed a remarkable season, slipped to a double-bogey seven at the 16th, but apart from that he was steady and finished with a 73. That gave Ireland a first-day total of 141.

America made a fast start to their bid for the title as they carded a 13-under-par 131 to top the leaderboard by four strokes from Mexico.

Irish Independent

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