Dunbar leads way for rampant Europe
Europe are on course for a landslide victory at this year’s Bonallack Trophy after dominating Asia-Pacific in Portugal yesterday. Rathmore’s Alan Dunbar and team-mates have one hand on the cup, having extended their 6-4 overnight lead to 13.5-6.5 following the second set of foursomes and fourballs at Monte Rei Golf & Country Club.
They now need just three points from today’s 12 singles matches to clinch a third successive victory in the prestigious team event. As holders, Europe would retain the trophy even if their opponents somehow managed to force a draw. Just as on day one, Dunbar and playing partner Rhys Enoch were in unbeatable form yesterday, picking up the maximum of two points with a couple of comfortable wins. The European pair held the lead for most of their morning foursomes match against Korean Soo-Min Lee and India’s Khalin Hitesh Joshi, always staying in control to run out 3&1 victors. The story was much the same in the afternoon fourballs as Dunbar and Welshman Enoch held the upper hand throughout their tie with Seenappa Chikkarangappa of India and Thailand’s Natipong Srithong, pulling away towards the end to win 3&2.
Meanwhile, Slieve Russell star Leona Maguire will attempt to regain the Helen Holm Trophy today when the Scottish Ladies’ Open Stroke Play Championship gets under way at Royal Troon. Fresh from her impressive eight-shot victory at the Irish Girls’ Open Stroke Play Championship, the 17-year-old, runner-up in Scotland last year, is looking to win back the crown she first claimed in 2009. Maguire heads a strong Irish presence which also includes internationals Charlene Reid (Royal Portrush), Aedin Murphy (Carlow) and Sarah Cunningham (Ennis) as well as U18 caps Jessica Carty (Holywood), Jean O’Driscoll (Muskerry) and Chloe Ryan (Castletroy).
In all, 15 Irish players make the trip to the famous Scottish venue for the three-day 54-hole tournament.
© This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Friday, April 27, 2012