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Sport

Murphy makes amateur selection

Wednesday, 27th June, 2018 4:21pm

Kinsale’s John Murphy is one of two new caps in the Ireland side selected for the European Amateur Team Championship at Golf Club Bad Saarow in Germany.

The team will be captained by another Corkman, John Carroll, who will be joined by team manager Michael Delany and GUI National Coach Neil Manchip to guide the team in Germany.

The tournament takes place from 10-14 July with Jonathan Yates from Naas also being newly capped. Dundalk’s Caolan Rafferty and Rowan Lester from Hermitage are playing the Europeans for the first time while Tramore’s Robin Dawson, 22, winner of the Flogas Irish Amateur Open and finalist at The Amateur Championship, is the sole survivor from last year’s team. Castle’s Alex Gleeson, 24, returns to this stage for the second time having previously played in 2016.

Murphy, 20, has been a revelation this summer. After winning the St Andrews Links Trophy earlier this month, he reached the quarter-finals of The Amateur Championship, and will now wear the green colours. The Corkman represented Ireland at the Boys Home Internationals in 2016.

Dawson and Gleeson earned automatic selection on the team by virtue of being the top two ranked Irish players in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR). Dawson is currently 35th in the world and Gleeson is at 113. The GUI introduced selection criteria for the men’s senior teams at the start of 2018 as part of the Union’s strategy to be more open and transparent in its operations while the GUI’s High Performance programme is supported by Sport Ireland and Sport NI.

Rafferty (25) and Lester (22) tasted success at the Home Internationals in 2017. Playing for Ireland at this level will be a whole new experience for Murphy and Yates.

Ireland finished seventh in Flight A at last year’s championship in Austria having been fifth in qualifying. The first objective will be securing a place in the top eight after two rounds of stroke play on the Faldo Course at Bad Saarow. The top eight teams, after qualifying, will compete for the trophy across three days of match play competition. Ireland last won the European title in 2008.

Ireland have been victorious on six previous occasions, the last being in 2008. Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry played on the winning team at Scotland in 2007 and Lowry played again, at Italy in 2008, when Ireland completed the double.

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