Thursday 29 September 2016

A golfing sensation with his feet firmly rooted on Greystones ground

Published 21/07/2015 | 02:30

Gerry Browner
Gerry Browner

The country's latest golfing sensation is a young man whose feet are firmly rooted to the Greystones ground.

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Twelve months after missing the cut at The Open, Paul Dunne went back with high hopes and limited expectations.

His eventual 30th place finish was a disappointment even though in reality it should have been a massive achievement.

The 22-year-old's march at golf's biggest event surprised many at the weekend but not anyone at his clubhouse in County Wicklow.

Club Member Gerry Browner said Paul's family paved the way for his success.

"I remember a story where he was down in Munster playing in an amateur competition and it was his turn to wash the dishes at home," said Mr Browner.

"He still had to come home and wash them that night because he was treated the same as his brother and sister."

Paul has just returned from America, where he graduated with a degree in Business Finance from the University of Alabama, Birmingham - Graeme McDowell's alma mater.

Mr Browner said that this was as important as any of Paul's golf achievements to his parents Colum and Michelle.

"He went off to do his degree four years ago and that would have been in the family ethic as well.

"He wouldn't have been going out there to just play golf," he said.

Paul's supporters say he has made great sacrifices to get to this point in his career, even putting aspects of his personal life on hold.

Friends

He still hangs around with the same group of friends he went to school in Blackrock with.

"He won a competition here at 14 or 15 and I remember he went out of his way to thank the captain and the sponsor before doing anything else," said Mr Browner. "I am sure his dad made him do it but it shows that he was brought up in a good environment and that has stuck with him."

Irish Independent

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