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Boulet leads the way in Irish Boys title hunt

 

By Paul Kelly

French boys champion Theo Boulet edged ahead of the field after 36 holes of the Irish Boys Amateur Open Championship at Belvoir Park GC.

Following an opening-round 67 on Tuesday, the 15-year-old added a 71 yesterday to remain at four-under-par for the tournament.

Lisburn's Joshua Robinson, joint leader overnight, signed for a second-round 72 (one over) which saw him slip back into a share of second place alongside Archie Davies (Wales) on three-under.

Nenagh's Scott O'Brien made the big move of the day. His six-birdie, two-bogey round of 67 moved him into fourth on two-under with Athenry's David Kitt a shot further back on one-under-par following a second-round 73.

Almost making a move towards the top of the leaderboard was Holywood's Tom McKibbin.

McKibbin, who made his European Tour debut at the recent ShotClock Masters in Austria, fired a second-round 71 to move up to 10th, just six shots off the lead with two rounds remaining.

The four-round tournament will conclude tomorrow. A cut will be made to the top 50 players and ties after the conclusion of round three today.

Meanwhile, three Irish players will be in action this morning in the opening series of matchplay clashes at the Ladies Amateur Championship.

Olivia Mehaffey (RCDL), Jessica Ross (Clandeboye) and Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) all made it through following the conclusion of the second qualifying round at Hillside GC in Southport.

Ross was the leading Irish qualifier, finishing the two rounds of strokeplay on five-over-par in 20th place.

The Queen's University student will face England's Caitlin Whitehead this morning.

Mehaffey, the World No.17, carded a second-round 72 (level) to finish qualifying on six-over-par and will play England's Jessica Hall in the last-64.

Wilson also finished on six-over-par and has been drawn against Yuka Saso (Philippines) this morning.

Elin Esborn produced a fine round of 70 in the searing heat to finish as leading qualifier. The Swede was joined at the top on one-under-par by Esther Henseleit and Elodie Chapelet but will take the honours on countback.

The cut for the top 64 players fell at 10-under-par. The 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.

Meanwhile, Portstewart's Mark Windebank claimed the Connacht Seniors Open Championship when he closed with a two-under 68 to pip Doneraile's Michael Quirke on a countback after they tied on one-under 139 at Strandhill.

The champion birdied three of his first four holes and while he bogeyed 10, 11 and 12, he birdied the 18th for the joint low round of the day as Quirke bogeyed his last two holes for a 71.

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