Dunne heads Irish challenge in Portugal but trails Parra by eight
 European champion and world amateur No 3, Maria Parra of Spain

European champion and world amateur No 3, Maria Parra of Spain

Maria Dunne heads the nine-strong Irish contingent after opening with a two over 74 in the 86th Portuguese International Ladies Amateur Championship.

The Skerries star made five bogeys in her round but three birdies repaired some of the damage on a day when just 10 of the 90-strong field broke par at Montado Hotel & Golf Resort, an hour south of Lisbon.

World No 11 Olivia Mehaffey from Royal County Down Ladies and Castletroy’s Chloe Ryan only jetted in from the South American Amateur in Chile on Monday and did well to post 75s to join Donaghadee’s Jessica Ross on three over par

The leading Irish players have a long way to go to catch Spain’s Maria Parra, the world No 3 and reigning European Amateur champion, who made seven birdies in a a six under 66 to lead by three strokes from England’s Emily Slater and Gemma Clews.

Parra went out in one under 35 before storming home in 31 thanks to a birdie at the 10th and four more in her last five holes.

Ross was five over with three to play but finished strongly for her 75 while Mehaffey did well to match that score having started on the back nine and slipped to four over par after just seven holes.

Forrest Little's Julie McCarthy birdied the last for a 77 that left her alongside Sinead Sexton and Mairead Martin on five over.

LIsburn’s Paula Grant was undone by a quadruple bogey eight at the 13th as she signed for an eight over 80 while former Irish Close champion Mary Doyle made two birdies in an 81.

86º Portuguese International Ladies Amateur Championship, Montado (Par 72)

Scores

  • 1 Maria Parra ESP -6 66
  • 2 Emily Slater ENG -3 69
  • 3 Gemma Clews ENG -3 69
  • 4 Albane Valenzuela SUI -2 70
  • 5 Roos Haarman NED -2 70
  • 6 Beatrice Wallin SWE -2 70
  • 7 Emilie Alba Paltrinieri ITA -1 71
  • 8 Lucrezia Colombotto Rosso ITA -1 71
  • 9 Gabrielle Macdonald SCO -1 71
  • 10 Alessia Nobilio ITA -1 71
  • 33 Maria Dunne IRL +2 74
  • 48 Jessica Ross IRL +3 75
  • 53 Chloe Ryan IRL +3 75
  • 55 Olivia Mehaffey IRL +3 75
  • 70 Julie McCarthy IRL +5 77
  • 72 Sinead Sexton IRL +5 77
  • 77 Mairead Martin IRL +5 77
  • 86 Paula Grant IRL +8 80
  • 87 Mary Doyle IRL +9 81