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Sunday 4 December 2016

Paul Dunne: I would remember winning Silver Medal in my last year as an amateur forever

Andy Hampson

Published 17/07/2015 | 21:18

Ireland's Paul Dunne during day two of The Open Championship 2015 at St Andrews
Ireland's Paul Dunne during day two of The Open Championship 2015 at St Andrews
Ireland's Paul Dunne during day two of The Open Championship 2015 at St Andrews
Ireland's Paul Dunne during day two of The Open Championship 2015 at St Andrews
Ireland's Paul Dunne during day two of The Open Championship 2015 at St Andrews
Paul Dunne of Ireland watches his tee shot on the 17th hole during the second round of the British Open golf championship on the Old Course in St. Andrews

Irish amateur Paul Dunne hopes to take the increasing attention in his stride after making the cut at the Open Championship for the first time.

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The 22-year-old from Greystones ensured involvement over the weekend at St Andrews by matching his first-round 69 on the second day to move to six under par.

Dunne, who came through final qualifying at Woburn for a second year in succession, said: "It'll be a new experience, I'm not 100 per cent sure how I'll handle it.

"Hopefully I'll just take it like second nature - but you never know. Obviously the forecast is for high winds tomorrow, so the course is going to play really tough."

Dunne's only blemish came when he missed a short par putt on the 16th but he made amends by making a birdie on the last.

He will now go into the final two days' play with a strong chance of winning the Silver Medal for the leading amateur.

Dunne said: "Obviously that would be brilliant. It would be nice to get the Silver Medal in my last year as an amateur. It would be something I would remember forever.

"But there's a lot of golf and a lot of bad weather to play in before that. I'm not going to think about it, I'm just going to see what the weather is like when I arrive here, put a new number in my head and go about business tomorrow."

Asked what numbers he had targeted from the first two days, Dunne said he had been hoping for a 68 and then, after seeing Friday's forecast, a 72.

He said: "I thought if I could just get anything in under par it would be a really good score, so I was delighted to shoot 69."

Padraig Harrington felt he got extra lucky with Friday's downpour at the Open Championship - as he gave himself the chance of a third Claret Jug and grabbed some extra sleep.

The two-time Open champion was due to tee off at 7.38am in his second round at St Andrews but high winds and a heavy deluge led to a suspension in play of more than three hours.

When play did resume, Harrington took advantage of the improved conditions to shoot four birdies in a round of 69 that lifted him to three under par overall.

He was still some way off the lead but Harrington felt he gave himself a chance he might not have had had he played in the worst of the weather. And after getting up at 5am to prepare, the break in play also gave him the chance to go back to bed.

Asked about the torrential rain that flooded parts of the course, the Irishman said: "I was standing in it when it was happening - we were on the range warming up when the storm came in.

"At no stage did I not think I was going to tee off - this is the Open Championship.

"Considering the weather we played in in 2002 at Muirfield we were going to go play, but unfortunately the town of St Andrews drains on to the first fairway, so we really couldn't go.

"We were happy about that. I snuck into one of the tour vans and slept for an hour and a half or so.

"It was a nice break on our behalf, and then when we got playing, our front nine played straight downwind. It was a good break for us."

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