Malone’s Matthew McClean emerged as the leading player after 36 holes of qualifying at the North of Ireland Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush.
The 25-year-old optometrist followed up an opening round 67 (-4) at the Valley with a bogey free 68 (-4) on the Dunluce Course to finish on eight under par. The former Irish Boys International, a regular competitor at the North of Ireland, has taken some time away from work to play competitively and it appears to have paid off.
“I have been hitting a lot of greens and working hard on my putting with Malone pro Michael McGee so things are pretty good just now. Hopefully, I will be around here for another few days,” said McClean.
The 2017 Irish Amateur Champion, Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas) successfully negotiated qualifying to make today’s opening round of match-play as did 2016 finalist Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene). Richard McCrudden (Royal Portrush) finished second on seven under par, adding a second round 67 (-4) on The Valley to an opening round 69 (-3) on the Dunluce. The cut for the final 64 fell at 146 (+3) with 13 players missing out.