Ireland golfers mount strong defence of Senior Team Championship

Reigning champions end first day in Bulgaria in pole position

Garth McGimpsey (above) and Arthur Pierse led the Irish charge with scores of three under par 69. Photograph: Paul Thomas/Getty Images

Garth McGimpsey (above) and Arthur Pierse led the Irish charge with scores of three under par 69. Photograph: Paul Thomas/Getty Images

 

Defending champions Ireland are on course to become the top seeds in the matchplay draw for the European Seniors Team Championship in Bulgaria after a stunning opening day.

They go into the second and final qualifying round today in pole position on 359, with five of their six cards counting, four strokes clear of Italy. England are fourth and Scotland just outside the qualifying spots in ninth.

Former Walker Cup captain and British Amateur champion Garth McGimpsey from Bangor and Tipperary veteran Arthur Pierse led the Irish charge with scores of three under par 69 over the Pravats course.

At the European Women’s Seniors in Lithuania, it’s touch and go whether Ireland will qualify for the quarter-finals as at the end of the first day they were hovering around the cut-off mark.

Laura Webb led the way for the Irish with a 76, while Belgium and Germany were the top nations yesterday.

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