Thursday 29 September 2016

Dunne hangs on as Stenson puts US Open woe behind him

Published 25/06/2016 | 02:30

Henrik Stenson of Sweden lines up a putt during the second round of the BMW International Open
Henrik Stenson of Sweden lines up a putt during the second round of the BMW International Open

Paul Dunne kept himself in the hunt for a sizeable pay cheque at the BMW International Open this weekend with a battling 71 at Pulheim in Germany yesterday.

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The Greystones golfer is in a tie for 22nd place on four-under par at halfway, seven strokes behind the leaders but well placed to make a move. Dunne carded four birdies and three bogeys in a mixed bag as he followed up Thursday's encouraging opening 69.

Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat hit a superb eight-under-par 64 to join Henrik Stenson and Raphael Jacquelin at the top of the leaderboard as Masters champion Danny Willett failed to make the cut. Michael Hoey also failed to make the weekend after a 73 yesterday left him on five-over and five shots outside the cut mark.

Dropped

Aphibarnrat produced an eagle on the par-five 13th followed by three birdies over the closing four holes to better Stenson's earlier round of 65 which had given him a share of the overall lead with a total of 11-under.

The 27-year-old, a three-time winner on the European Tour, dropped a shot at the par-three fourth and went into the turn on 34 before his superb back nine, which was bolstered by sinking the 519-yard 13th in just three strokes.

"After I hit many good shots on the front nine, I got my confidence back," Aphibarnrat said.

Earlier Stenson, who was forced to pull out of the US Open because of a knee problem, did not drop a shot on day two at the Golf Club Gut Larchenhof. The Swede carded seven birdies on the way.

Frenchman Jacquelin added a sound 68 to his impressive opening round of 65. Following a brief 48-minute interruption because of the threat of lightning, Jacquelin made a promising start with three birdies across the opening seven holes.

Willett, meanwhile, had another round to forget. The Englishman, 28, had opened with a two-over par 74 following a couple of double bogeys. Although the world number nine picked up three birdies, another bogey on 12 saw him sign for two-under 70, which was not enough to beat the cut.

Elsewhere, Paul McBride fired in a stunning 69 at the London Golf Club to spearhead the Irish assault on the English Men's Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship.

The Island player, who lost in the semi-finals of the Amateur Championship in South Wales last week, is one of 10 Irishmen who will feature in today's final round.

McBride followed up totals of 73 and 71 with a magnificent three-under-par round of 69 on day three to leave himself in tied seventh - although he is nine strokes behind leader Cameron Davis.

Hermitage's Rowan Lester is also going strong after recovering from a poor start by hitting 74 in his third round - leaving himself tied seventh alongside McBride.

Sean Flanagan (Co Sligo) is tied 11th going into today's final round after carding a score of 69 that included six birdies.

Leona Maguire's hopes of glory in the Ladies' British Amateur Championship came to an end as she suffered defeat to Spain's Maria Parra in the quarter-finals at Dundonald links.

Parra, ranked No 4 in the world, proved too strong for the 21-year-old Curtis Cup star - with the Spaniard claiming a 3&2 win in Ayrshire. BMW International Open

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