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Boult Leads West of Ireland With 66

August 12, 1999

GALWAY, Ireland (AP) _ Elliot Boult of New Zealand shot a course record 6-under-par 66 to take the first-round lead Thursday in the West of Ireland Golf Classic.

Three Danish golfers were one stroke off the pace_ Soren and Anders Hansen, who are not related, and Nils Rorbaek.

The most closely watched player was probably Ireland’s Padraig Harrington who is trying to keep his slim hopes alive of making the European Ryder Cup team.

Ranked 16th with the first 10 getting automatic berths on the Ryder team, Harrington fired a 3-under 69. To have a chance to make the European Ryder team, which will be determined Aug. 22, Harrington needs to win here and have a top finish in next week’s BMW International in Munich.

The top 10 automatically qualify with captain Mark James adding two more wild-card picks.

Boult, whose parents emigrated from London to New Zealand, could get an automatic European Tour card by winning here _ and maybe something else.

``My parents emigrated from London in 1962 and I still have a British passport so maybe I could play in the Ryder Cup,″ he joked.

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