Lenehan heads Irish challenge for Portuguese Amateur
 Geoff Lenehan competing for the GUI against the MGA at The European Club in 2013. Picture ©  Pat Cashman

Geoff Lenehan competing for the GUI against the MGA at The European Club in 2013. Picture © Pat Cashman

He might have been dropped from the GUI's national senior panel at the grand old age of 27, but that's hardly going to stop Geoff Lenehan in this week's Portuguese Amateur Open Championship.

The reigning Mullingar Scratch Cup holder will be joined by one of his playoff victims from last August's big win, Castle's Daniel Holland, as well as Ardee's Eugene Smith and Rosslare's Gary Collins for a 72-hole test at Montado Hotel and Golf Resort, 40 minutes south of Lisbon airport.

Lenehan has been on the fringes of selection for the Irish team for the past couple of years and while the GUI has rejuvenated its panel, leaving the likes of Lenehan or his Munster team mate Pat Murray out in the cold, he may well find it easier to produce those eye-catching performances now that he is no longer one of the select few.

Italian teenager Renato Paratore won the Portuguese title last year before going on to claim his European Tour card at the Q-School and Lenehan and his three Irish "amigos" will find the 2015 field to be just as tough with England's Ashley Chesters, the world No 21 and the first player to successfully defend the European Amateur Championship, the leading light. 

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