Alan Dunbar boosted his strong Walker Cup hopes when he closed with a 69 to finish just a shot behind winner Neil Raymond in the Brabazon Trophy Burnham and Berrow.
The Rathmore man looked to have blown his chance of victory with a third round 79 that left him seven shots behind Raymond entering Sunday’s final round.
But the leader, who had a five shot advantage over playing partner Andy Sullivan, was almost caught and passed by Dunbar in the final round as he slipped to a nervy 75.
The English Golf Union reported:
Raymond went into the final round with a five-shot lead but that soon disappeared as he ran up bogeys at the first, fifth and sixth, while Sullivan birdied the fourth and eighth.
As the temperature rose, so did the pressure on the leaders as Seb Crookall-Nixon and Ireland’s Alan Dunbar came into the picture.
Both got within striking distance of the leaders, Dunbar recovering from his only dropped shot at the second with birdies at the fourth, eighth and 16th. That final birdie pointed to a second Irish victory in three years. But it wasn’t to be.
Mourne’s Reeve Whitson tied for 14th on 11 over par after a closing 73 with Castlerock’s Aaron Kearney (77) 45th.
West and Irish Close winner Paul Cutler (78) and South of Ireland champion John Greene (81) tied for 50th with East of Ireland winner Richard O’Donovan of Lucan (76) taking 67th.