It was a bad week for Walker Cup hopefuls Cormac Sharvin and Paul Dunne as they failed to make the 64 qualifiers for the matchplay but there are high hopes that Gavin Moynihan, Jack Hume or Dermot McElroy can become the eighth Irishman to win the Amateur Championship at Carnoustie this week.
All three have Walker Cup ambitions and while Dunne and Sharvin are still considered likely picks for September's matches, Hume and McElroy can make a serious claim for a place in Nigel Edward's 10-man side if they go far this week.
Both have testing first rounds draws with Hume facing Finland's Miki Kuronen and McElroy taking on England's Jack Yule, who was tied third in the qualifying on five under.
Moynihan faces an equally tough task against the Isle of Man's Tom Gandy, a regular contender in the Irish Amateur Open. But the Walker Cup star from The Island is clearly playing with confidence as he showed when coming back from an early double bogey at Carnoustie's third with five birdies for a three under 69 that qualified him comfortably in a share of 14th on two under par 140.
Hume striggled to a three over 73 at Panmure but still made it easily in joint 20th on 141, one stroke ahead of McElroy, who shot a three under 67 at the same venue.
There was frustration all round for the other 16 Irish in Scotland as exactly 64 players finished on one over 143 or better to make Wednesday's first round draw.
Belvoir Park's US-based Gareth Lappin missed out by one shot after disappointing, three over 73 at Panmure where Sharvin had three birdies and two bogeys in a 69 to miss the cut by two.
Dunne's over over 73 at Carnoustie left him three shots off the pace while Tullamore's Stuart Grehan was left to lament two poor swings on the back nine that led to five dropped shots at Panmure, where he missed out by five.
Scotsman Craig Howie and New Zealander Ryan Chisnall finished as the leading qualifiers in what is the 120th Amateur Championship.
Howie, 22, posted a five-under-par 67 at Carnoustie, which included an eagle at the par four 11th, to qualify for the match play stage for the first time. A team mate of Sharvin's, the Stirling University Sports Studies student is in fine form following a tied-third place finish at the recent St Andrews Links Trophy.
Chisnall managed three birdies on the front nine at Panmure on his way to a two-under-par 68 to finish tied for the lead.
Spain’s Ivan Cantero shot a remarkable six-under-par round of 64 at Panmure, which featured an eagle, seven birdies and three bogeys, to finish on two-under-par and secure his place in the match play stage of the Championship.
Amateur Championship 2015
Matchplay draw Round 1
(9.00) Gavin Moynihan v Tom Gandy
(10.25) Jack Hume v Miki Kuronen
(10.35) Jack Yule v Dermot McElroy
Panmure/Carnoustie (Par 70 72)
Carnoustie/Panmure (par 72 70)
- 140 Gavin Moynihan (The Island) 71 69
- 141 Jack Hume (Naas) 68 73
- 142 Dermot McElroy (Ballymena) 75 67
- 144 Gareth Lappin (Belvoir Park) 71 73
- 145 Cormac Sharvin (Ardglass) 76 69
- 145 Alexander Wilson (Portmarnock) 71 74
- 146 John-Ross Galbraith (Whitehead) 73 73
- 146 Paul Dunne (Greystones) 73 73
- 146 Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock) 72 74
- 147 Robin Dawson (Faithlegg) 78 69
- 147 Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint) 70 77
- 148 Sean Flanagan (Co Sligo) 78 70
- 148 Stuart Grehan (Tullamore) 73 75
- 148 Alex Gleeson (Castle) 72 76
- 148 Conor O’Rourke (Naas) 70 78
- 151 Daniel Holland (Castle) 76 75
- 152 Paul McBride (The Island) 75 77
- 153 Richard Bridges (Stackstown) 83 70
- 156 Stephen Watts (Cairndhu) 72 84