Irish start well in Euros

By Brian Keogh

Ireland made a strong start in the European Amateur Team Championships at Western Gailes in Scotland.

Rory McIlroy equalled the best score of the day with a four-under par 67 as the Irish side finished just five shots behind leaders France in a share of fourth place.

Only the leading eight sides after Wednesday's second strokeplay qualifying round will battle for the title and Ireland is well placed to progress in the top flight.

Simon Ward hit a level par 71 as Richard Kilpatrick and Gareth Shaw hit two-over par 73s and Jonathan Caldwell and Shane Lowry a pair of 74s.

The best five scores count each day with one score discarded.

France finished the opening day on two under par 353, two stokes clear of England with hosts Scotland a further two shots adrift.


Flight one
353 (-2) France
355 (E) England
357 (+2 ) Scotland
358 (+3) Ireland, Norway
360 (+5) Norway
365 (+10) Germany, Spain

Flight two
367 (+12) Sweden
368 (+13) Wales
370 (+15) Netherlands, Portugal
376 (+21) Austria, Iceland

Flight three
379 (+24) Belgium
380 (+25) Turkey
382 (+27) Czech Republic
383 (+28) Italy
385 (+30) Finland
386 (+31) Switzerland