Dunne digs deep to earn last-four spot in Irish Close
Recently crowned East of Ireland champion Paul Dunne (Greystones) booked his place in today's semi-finals of the AIG-sponsored Irish Close Championship after seeing off Kieran Lynch and Simon Bryan at Connemara.
Having disposed of Skibbereen's Lynch with a five-hole winning margin, Delgany's Bryan proved to be a much sterner test for the Irish international in the afternoon's quarter-final.
Dunne – on a scholarship at Graeme McDowell's alma mater, the University of Alabama – enjoyed a fine start to the back nine which saw him level the match on the 12th, and a birdie on the penultimate hole was enough for the 20-year-old to seal the win after a real battle.
In the morning session, Co Sligo's Gary McDermott needed six extra holes to see off the challenge of Royal Dublin's Jeff Hopkins, meeting Greystones teenager David Byrne in the quarters.
But having been two-up with two holes left to play, McDermott lost the last two holes to birdies and more extra holes ensued. He ran out of steam on his 46th hole of the day, and Byrne progressed.
Jonathan Yates from Naas accounted for Portmarnock's Geoff Lenehan in their last-eight match.
* At the Connacht Seniors in Belmullet, Bangor's Garth McGimpsey set a new course record and holds a nine-shot lead over his nearest rival. He took just 64 shots in an eight-under-par first round.