Sport Golf

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Dunne shares lead with Schwartzel after birdie blitz

Nigel Whittaker

Published 02/12/2016 | 02:30

Paul Dunne and Charl Schwartzel share a six-under par lead after the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship. Photo: Sportsfile
Paul Dunne and Charl Schwartzel share a six-under par lead after the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship. Photo: Sportsfile

Greystones' Paul Dunne and defending champ Charl Schwartzel led the way on six-under par after the opening round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship in Malelane, South Africa,.

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Schwartzel notched a birdie at the last to post a flawless opening-round 66 and join Dunne, who carded eight birdies and a double-bogey at Leopard Creek CC.

The duo sit one shot clear of a large chasing pack which includes Englishman Max Orrin and Scotland's Scott Jamieson as well as home favourites Jean Hugo and Brandon Stone.

An early birdie blitz saw Dunne pick up four shots in his first eight holes, only for a double-bogey at the ninth to halt his progress. The 24-year-old bounced back in style, notching birdies at the 11th, 13th, 15th and 17th to get to six-under.

Dunne said: "For me I feel if I can get the ball in play off the tee, with how my irons are feeling and with how good the greens are, I feel if I drive the ball well I'll give myself loads of chances."

After carding a single birdie in his opening nine holes, Schwartzel made back-to-back gains at the 10th and 11th before taking advantage of the three par-fives on the back nine - the 13th, 15th and 18th - to take a share of the lead.

Schwartzel said afterwards: "On the front nine, I was just really grinding hard to make pars, and when I did find some good shots, I capitalised by making birdies, which was nice."

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