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Mac backs young Dunne

IRISH amateur Paul Dunne will turn professional later this year after taking the 144th Open Championship by storm and major winner Graeme McDowell believes the 22-year-old has the talent to succeed immediately.

Dunne began the final round at St Andrews in a share of the lead looking to become the first golfer from the unpaid ranks to win the Claret Jug since Bobby Jones in 1930.

A six-over 78 saw him drop down the leaderboard to such an extent he did not even win the Silver Medal for top amateur but after September's Walker Cup, Dunne will make the step up to professional.

"Certainly once the Walker Cup is over - whether he's selected or not, he's certainly going to have a go at turning professional," said his father Colum.


McDowell, the 2012 US Open winner who coincidentally attended the same University of Alabama as Dunne, believes the golfer from Greystones has proved he can cope with the additional pressure and demands.

"I played with him early in the week and he hit the ball very well with a technically-correct swing," said the Northern Irishman.

"Listening to a few of his press conferences he seems like a wise-old owl for someone his age.

"He seems like a really cool character. I liked his comments about being surprised to be leading an Open Championship but not surprised about the numbers he shot.

"He has that Jordan (Spieth) maturity to him a little bit."