McGee takes step closer to Tour card
IRISHMAN Ruaidhri McGee won't have too far to travel for the second stage of European Tour qualifying after safely negotiating the first phase at Frilford Heath.
The Derry-born pro, based in Spain since the age of 15, heads to one of four courses in his adopted homeland next month as he bids for a place at final qualifying.
A final-round five-under-par 67 sealed fifth place for McGee.
Ballymena's Chris Devlin ended with a three-over-par round of 75, but the hard work had been done on Day 2 with a 64 and he tied for seventh to book his place.
John-Daniel Guiney's chances vanished as he came home in 41. His 77 left him four strokes off the cut-off point.
In the other first-stage qualifier in Portugal, there was despair for Michael McGeady, who missed out by a single shot.
Four more Irishmen also left Lisbon disappointed -- Andrew Hogan (76), Glen Robinson (75) and Richard Kilpatrick (75) all finished five off qualifying. Dara Lernihan (77) also missed out.
ireland were again without the services of Alan Dunbar as the second day of the World Amateur Team Championship was blighted by thunderstorms in Turkey.
The event has been reduced to 54 holes after the start of play yesterday was delayed by six hours and suspended three times due.
Many teams, including Ireland, again minus the ill Dunbar, will have to finish their rounds today and play what is now the final 18 holes as well.
Ireland's hopes rested on the shoulders of Gavin Moynihan and Kevin Phelan. Both men had just completed the 12th hole when the weather moved in, with Phelan on three-under and Moynihan one-over.
Frantic efforts to rescue Irish participation at the Men's Champions Challenge tournament in Argentina next month are set to succeed, with players to the fore in last-minute attempts to drum up at least €45,000 and a new head coach set to be appointed.
FOUR Irish boxers are through to today's finals at the European Schoolboy Championships following semi-finals wins in Russia -- Oliver McCarty, James McGivern, John Sweeney and Michael Nevin guaranteed at least a silver medal.
But there was disappointment for Francie Stokes, Kieran Molloy, Brett McGinty, Darragh Murray, Nevan Fannon and James Clarke.
Irish riders got the weekend off to a great start with a win for Dermott Lennon at the Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham, and a double of victories at Barbizon in France.
Lennon topped the Dick Turpin Stakes with Loughview Lou-Lou.
At Barbizon, Gerard Clarke secured a win in the CSI 2-Star with Ardragh Stein, and pony rider Grace Allen galloped Attyrory Clover Lilly into the winner's enclosure.