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O'Donovan top Irishman at Lake Macquarie International

Richard O’Donovan finished strongly in the Lake Macquarie International Amateur Championship in Australia.Credit Jenny Matthews/www.newsfile.ieLucan’s Richard O’Donovan finished 14th in the Lake Macquarie International Amateur Championship in Australia. The reigning East of Ireland champion closed with a three under par 69 to finish 11 strokes behind winner Daniel Nisbet of Australia on 284. Scores

Nisbet carded a final round 71 at Belmont Golf Club near Sydney to win by three strokes from compatriot Cameron Smith on 273 as overnight leader Marcel Schneider of Germany crashed to a 78 and fifth place on 279.

West Waterford’s Gary Hurley saved the best for last, firing a superb 68 to share 21st place on 285 as Mourne’s Reeve Whitson fell back to 31st after a disappointing 76.

Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy (74) was 39th on 290 with Muskerry’s Niall Gorey (75) back in 65th place on 295.

The Irish contingent will now take part in the New South Wales Amateur, which begins with a 72-hole stroke play tournament at Mona Vale Golf Club and Long Reef Golf Club in Sydney from February 1-3.

The top-32 finishers will qualify for the NSW Amateur Championship itself, decided over three days of match play at nearby Elanora Golf Club from February 6-8.