IRISH OPEN: Differing fortunes for amateur contingent

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There was contrasting fortunes for the amateur contingent at Royal Portrush yesterday.

While Dermot McElroy (Ballymena) and Alan Dunbar (Rathmore) posted scores of one under par 71’s, Harry Diamond (Belvoir Park) and Patrick McCrudden both struggled.

Dunbar, the British Amateur champion, was content with his opening effort.

“It was a good start and I was anxious to get underway,” said the 23-year-old.

“I had a couple of silly missed putts but I hit the ball really well. If I can play the same again tomorrow and hole a few more putts I will hopefully make the cut.”

McElroy was also pleased with his opening effort in a round that included an eagle at the par five ninth.

“I hit a couple of bad tee shots that’s cost me a couple of doubles, which didn’t help, but other than that I played pretty solid,” said the 18-year-old who made his debut in a professional tournament in last year’s Irish Open in Killarney.

“I’m playing nicely so I am, I just need to get the driving sorted out. I don’t know what’s wrong with it. I hit it pretty good today otherwise, I’m happy enough.”