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Early start a boost for Coulter and Ireland



Sharp shooting: Beth Coulter shot a one-over par opening round in Newcastle

Sharp shooting: Beth Coulter shot a one-over par opening round in Newcastle

David Lloyd

Sharp shooting: Beth Coulter shot a one-over par opening round in Newcastle

Kirkistown Castle teen Beth Coulter believed an early tee time aided Ireland as they put themselves in a strong position to reach the match play stage of the European Team Championships at Royal County Down.

The 17-year-old fired a one-over 74 to help Ireland into sixth place after day one at 14-over altogether, with the top eight teams after today’s second stroke play round qualifying for the knockouts, which start tomorrow.

Lurgan’s Annabel Wilson added a six-over 79 for Ireland as the Czech Republic took top spot at one-over, with Scotland’s Hannah Darling the best individual scorer after a five-under 68.

“I was very happy to be out early this morning, there was no wind and there’s a bit of cloud coming in over the mountains there,” said Coulter.

“You have to be so strategic out on the course and limit the big numbers because all we have to do is qualify (for the match play). It’s just about one shot at a time.”

Meanwhile, at PGA Catalunya, Ireland are 13 shots off the match play places and sit bottom of the qualifying table at 12-over-par overall in the men’s European Team Championships.

Matthew McClean’s (Malone) five-over 77 was Ireland’s unused score, with France the leading team qualifiers at 12-under as Belgian duo Jean de Wouters d’Oplinter and Adrien Dumont de Chassart were the best individuals at five-under alongside Sweden’s Pontus Nyholm and France’s Clément Charmasson.

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Elsewhere, Banbridge’s Jim Carvill was the best local player on the opening day of the Senior Amateur Open Championship at Ganton in North Yorkshire.

Carvill shot a two-over 73 in his first round, which sees him two back of the lead held by four players at level-par, with Castlerock’s David Mulholland five-over and Portstewart’s Mark Windebank at 20-over.

Galgorm Castle’s Joshua Hill is the leading Ulsterman at the Connacht Boys’ Open after a first round one-under 71 at Castle Dargan and he trails Gavin O’Neill (Malahide) by seven shots.

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