'Paul had come home after one competition as it was his turn to wash the dishes'
Young amateur golfing sensation Paul Dunne may have stolen the show at this year’s British Open but his family deserve huge credit, according to members of his local club.
He missed the cut at last year’s event but went into the final day of these year’s event sharing the lead with former winner Louis Oosthuizen before finishing tied for 30th.
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 Gerry.
“He still had to come home and wash them that night because he was treated the same as his brother and sister,” he added.
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.
Gerry 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,” said Gerry.
“He wouldn’t have been going out there to just play golf,” he added.
Everyone at the club was keen to point out the work and dedication Paul has applied to his game over the past few years.
They said he has made great sacrifices to get to this point in his career, even putting aspects of his personal life on hold.
“Sure he has plenty of time for that (a personal life) yet,” said Gerry.
“He still hangs around with the same group of lads he went to Blackrock with,” added Gerry.
“He is a lovely guy, a really well rounded kid with a good mum and dad.
“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. 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.”
Greystones Golf Club under-15 manager David fry said that Paul’s showing in St Andrews would now serve as a great incentive for the club’s younger members.
“When you put in that effort and are willing to work so hard on your game it is great to see it all amount to something like this. It was only a matter of time before he was going to come through to this level,” he said.