Paul Cutler's bid for the Spanish Amateur Championship ended in food poising and heartache at Pals near Girona.
The 19-year-old from Portstewart was all square after nine holes in his quarter-final clash with France's Johann López Lázaro before illness forced him to retire on the 13th.
Beaten by Joe Lyons in last year's West of Ireland final, where he ended Rory McIlroy's bid for a title hat-trick with a surprise quarter-final win, Cutler was hoping to become the first Irish winner of the King's Cup since Darren Clarke lifted the title in 1990.
Johann López Lázaro (Fra) bt Paul Cutler (Ire) retired
Daniel Willett (Eng) bt Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 2/1
Jordi García Pinto (Esp) bt Edward Richardson (Eng) 2/1
Eddie Pepperell (Eng) bt Guillaume Cambis (Fra) 2 up.
López Lázaro v Willett; García Pinto v Pepperell