Richard O’Donovan was the joint leading qualifier for the matchplay stages of the Spanish Amateur Open at La Manga. Picture by Pat CashmanRichard O’Donovan defied high winds and bitter cold to top the qualifiers as Ireland took the Nations Cup in the Spanish International Amateur Championship at La Manga.

The Lucan man added a one over 73 to his opening 71 to share top spot with England’s Harry Casey on one under 146 and lead a quartet of Irishmen into Friday’s matchplay stages.

O’Donovan joined is joined in the top 32 by Mourne’s Reeve Whitson (75-73/148), Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy (73-75/148) and Headfort’s Rory McNamara (77-75/152) but Brian Casey (77-76/153) was edged out on a countback.

The Ireland A trio of (O’Donovan, Whitson and Chris Selfridge 75-79/154) took the Nations Cup by two strokes from Spain A on 293 with Ireland B side of Harry Diamond (83-83/166), McNamara and Casey  claimed 12th spot.

Nations Cup scores
Qualiying scoreboard

Match Play draw