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Turner makes flying start in bid to secure Asian Tour playing rights

CORK ace Niall Turner made a brisk start to the Asian Tour Final Qualifying, a first round of four-under par 68 at the Imperial Lakeview Golf Club in Hua Hin, Thailand, earning him a share of 11th place in the 249-man field.

Dubliner Niall Kearney was just inside the projected cut mark after a level par 72 at Lakeview left him in a share of 85th place with 30 others.

Japan's Yozuke Tsukada led after a sizzling first round score of 63. He and the two Irishmen play their second round at Springfield Royal Country Club today.

The top-40 after Saturday's final round will win Asian Tour cards for 2012.

IRELAND'S Tara Delaney failed to make the cut for the fifth and last round of the Ladies European Tour Final Qualifying School at La Manga, Spain, yesterday.

Carlow's Delaney scored 79 on the North Course at the Malaga resort for a 14-over par total. The cut came at nine-over, with the top 50 plus ties playing the last of five rounds today for the 30 available Tour playing cards for 2012.

England's Jodie Ewart continued to set the pace at 11-under par.

REEVE Whitsun led a trio of Irish players into the knockout phase of the Australian Open Amateur Championship in Melbourne.

The Mourne star returned a 71 over the Woodlands course improving by five strokes on his Tuesday performance for a 36-hole aggregate of 147 to go through in 16th place out of the 64 qualifiers.

West Waterford's Gary Hurley and Niall Gorey of Muskerry both did just enough to keep alive their interest in the Championship.

Hurley posted a 75 and Gorey a 76, both finishing the 36 holes of stroke-play on 153 for a share of 51st place. Dermot McElroy missed out after rounds of 82 and 78.

Matt Kuchar is confident of making a successful start to his season when he tackles one of his favourite events this week at La Quinta CC

The California desert event, previously known as the Bob Hope Classic, but rebranded as the Humana Challenge this year, is one in which world No 11 Kuchar has a strong record. He was runner-up in 2010 and finished seventh last year, and another impressive result is his objective for the next four days.

Humana Challenge,

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Irish Independent