Caolan Rafferty justified his call-up to the Irish team for the European Amateur Team Championship in Belgium as he led the team to third place and the bronze medals.
His superb 66 in the second round of qualifying helped Ireland move through the field to finish in fourth place and qualifying for the top flight matchplay stages. Rafferty was Ireland’s leading qualifier on seven under and finished fifth in the individual table, four shots behind the leading qualifier, having shot 71 in the first round.
In the matchplay he was paired with US Mid-Amateur Champions Matt McClean in the morning foursomes of their quarter-final against France. The pair got Ireland off to the perfect with a 5&4 win in the top match. Although Rafferty lost his singles match by one hole, Ireland won 4-3 to advance to the last four.
In the semi-final they lost by 4.5 to 2.5 to Denmark with Rafferty and McClean again combining to secure a point from the foursomes with a 2&1 win in the top match. Rafferty sat out the afternoon singles but returned for the bronze medal match against England which Ireland won 6-1 to claim third place.
Rafferty and McClean beat Barclay Brown and Dylan Shaw Radford by two holes in the foursomes while in the singles the Dundalk man had a settle for a half when his match against James Claridge was called in as Ireland romped to victory.
Rafferty will now be hoping that his performances in Belgium will be enough to earn him a call-up for the Home Internationals in a few weeks time.
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