Gary Hurley bit the dust in the Australian Amateur despite a spirited fightback. Picture © Pat Cashman (courtesy GUI).Irish interest in the Australian Amateur Open ended last night when Gary Hurley was beaten on the 18th in the second round.

The young West Waterford star lost two down to Germany’s Marcel Schneider despite a spirited late fightback at Woodlands Golf Club near Melbourne. (Match play results)

Four down with five to play, the Munster starlet birdied the 15th and 16th to get back to two down and then took the 17th in par to go to the last just one hole in arrears.

He had an 18 footer for birdie at the last but the German, who had fired his approach into deep trouble over the green, overhit a long, running chip which clattered into the flagstick and dropped for a winning birdie.

Schneider went on to win his third round match by 5 and 4 over New South Wales player Matthew Stieger and will face another Australian in Ricky Kato in today’s quarter-finals.

England’s Ashley Chesters and Ben Loughrey also lost in the second round. Chesters lost to Kato by 2 and 1, while Loughrey went down 2 and 1 to Cameron Smith.

Hurely is one of four players nominated by the GUI to compete in a series of amateur events in Australia.

Along with Muskerry’s Niall Gorey, Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy and Mourne’s Reeve Whitson, he will now play in the Lake Macquarie Amateur Championship (72 hole strokeplay) at Belmont Golf Club in Sydney from January 26-29.

From there the Irish quartet will tee it up in the New South Wales Amateur at Mona Vale Golf Club and Long Reef Golf Club in Sydney from February 1-3.

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

Australian Amateur Open - Matchplay