Irish trio return home from Andalucia staking Portrush claim

Bernie McGuire

Royal Portrush

Bernie McGuire

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The Irish trio of Paul Dunne, Gavin Moynihan and Michael Hoey have returned home staking their chance of Royal Portrush tee-times on next week’s Dubai Duty Irish Open and the following week’s Scottish Open.

Dunne had talked of teeing-up next Tuesday in an Open final qualifier at Old St. Annes in England but his name does not appear in the field released by the R&A.

The Greystones golfer was cut from the Andalucia Masters with horror scores of 75 and 76 for a nine-over par tally while Moynihan was on the same flight home with Valderrama scores of 72 and 83 for a 13-over total.

There was also little sunshine for Hoey on the Costa del Sol either after the Ballymoney pro was also cut with rounds of 74 and 78 for 10-over.

Dunne has contested four Open’, including brilliantly sharing the lead into the final round in 2015, whereas 24-year old Moynihan has yet to make his Major debut while Hoey has contested three Opens between 2001 and his last in 2014.

It means all three must either win next week at Lahinch or be among the leading three, not already exempt, among the leading 10 finishes. If unsuccessful, they face the same qualifying scenario in Scotland.

Heading the Irish seeking to qualify on Tuesday on four courses in England and Scotland is Holywood 16-year old sensation, Tom McKibbon who will tee-up at the Fairmont Resort to the east of St. Andrews.

Meanwhile, South African Christiaan Bezuidnhout opened-up a four-shot Andalucia lead moving to eight-under par thanks to a second day 71, less than a week after finishing third in the BMW International Open in Munich.

Tournament host, Sergio Garcia posted a 72 to be at four-under par as he seeks to win the event for a third straight year.

He said: “It was very difficult this afternoon with the greens very firm while it was also quite windy, and really I just didn’t make any putts.

“I still feel like I played really well under the conditions and what I shot was the most I could have had today.”

Full Scoring HERE


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