Foley & McClean breeze into matchplay stages at weather-delayed US Mid-Am

Hugh Foley (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

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Royal Dublin’s Hugh Foley added a one-under par 70 at Erin Hills to his quick four-under par start at Blue Mound Golf & Country Club to qualify from a share of fourth spot for the matchplay stages of the US Mid-Amateur Championship.

Unruly weather has caused havoc with the schedule this week in Wisconsin but it hasn’t put Ireland’s travelling duo off one bit with Malone’s Matthew McClean joining his Irish international teammate in the knockouts after he backed up an opening 72 at Blue Mound with a stunning five-under 66 at Erin Hills to qualify in a share of sixth.

“It was four days for the two rounds and some uncomfortable waits but I am glad to get it done,” Foley reflected.

This year’s North and South of Ireland champion has made no secret of wanting his home form to translate to away fixtures but Foley has no doubt as to the size of the task at hand in Wisconsin, where the winner at week’s end wins a spot in the Masters.

“I had a feeling it was going to be stronger than what the world ranking would suggest. I think that was right. I have met a lot of guys who were ex-pros, turned-back amateurs or who played great college golf,” he said.

“I was definitely nervous playing but Matthew McClean and I saw that there was an exemption to get straight in. It would’ve been harder to come and qualify but because (of the exemption) we could plan ahead and just play the full event. We just went for it.”

The Championship now looks set for a Saturday finish with Foley all square with American Alex Turner after two holes of their first round match while McClean is two-up after four against Christopher Anderson.

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