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Boulet closes in on Boys title as Ulster pair fade


By Paul Kelly

French teenager Theo Boulet is on course for a remarkable wire-to-wire victory at the Irish Boys Amateur Championship after extending his lead at Belvoir Park yesterday.

The 15-year-old fired a third round 67 at the sun-kissed Belfast course to edge two shots clear of Welsh representative Archie Davies.

After reaching the turn in level par 36, Boulet produced some of the best golf of the week, coming home in four-under 35.

Joseph Byrne (Baltinglass) and Joshua Robinson (Lisburn) are the leading Irish players on two-under, but at six shots off the pace, they have their work cut out to get into title contention in today's final round.

The cut fell at 12-over par (225) with the top 50 players plus ties progressing to today's final round.

Amongst them is Holywood's Tom McKibbin, who is currently tied for ninth on four-over par.

Meanwhile, Irish interest in the 115th Ladies' Amateur Championship ended yesterday at Hillside Golf Club with defeats for Olivia Mehaffey (Royal County Down), Jessica Ross (Clandeboye) and Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) in the matchplay section of the tournament.

Mehaffey and Wilson both won their morning matches to reach the last-32 but Ross lost out to England's Caitlin Whitehead.

Great Britain & Ireland Curtis Cup player Mehaffey then lost out in the afternoon to Italian Alessio Nobilio by one hole, while teenager Wilson found Sweden's Anna Backman too hot to handle, losing 4&3.

144 elite women's amateur golfers from 24 countries across Europe and the Asia-Pacific arrived at the Southport course on Monday to take part in the Championship.

The tournament winner receives exemptions into the 2018 Ricoh Women's British Open, the 2018 Evian Championship, the 2019 US Women's Open and the 2019 Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship.

Mehaffey and Wilson have both been selected to play in the European Ladies Team Championships in Austria next month (July 10-14).

They will be joined in the team by Paula Grant (Lisburn), Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden), Mairead Martin (Kanturk) and Julie McCarthy (Forest Little).

The team will be captained by past Irish International and former professional golfer, Danielle McVeigh (Royal County Down).

Ireland's European Girls' team which will play in the Euro Championships in Sweden (July 10-14) features Sara Byrne (Douglas), Valerie Clancy (Killarney), Beth Coulter (Kirkistown Castle), Aine Donegan (Woodstock), Nicole Joyce Moreno (Royal Portrush) and Kate Lanigan (Hermitage).

The team will be captained by Helen Jones (Royal Portrush).

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