Sunday 18 February 2018

Consistent Dunne rising through the ranks of Tour pros

Paul Dunne played 23 European Tour events in 2016 and missed nine cuts. So far this year, he has competed in 20 tournaments and failed to play the weekend only four times. Photo: Sportsfile
Paul Dunne played 23 European Tour events in 2016 and missed nine cuts. So far this year, he has competed in 20 tournaments and failed to play the weekend only four times. Photo: Sportsfile
Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

Paul Dunne's second year as a European Tour professional has already surpassed his 2016 rookie campaign.

Dunne, who tees it up today in the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre in the Swiss Alps, is laying down solid foundations for his career in a competitive environment.

A comparison between his 2016 and 2017 seasons to date shows how well he has adapted to life on Tour.

Dunne's earnings of €702,364 so far is more than double the €260,789 he banked last year.

The Greystones golfer played 23 European Tour events in 2016 and missed nine cuts. So far this year, he has competed in 20 tournaments and failed to play the weekend only four times.

One of those Friday finishes was at his first appearance in the US Open. A missed cut at Erin Hills was disappointing, but no disgrace.

Dunne's average finishing place is 39.25 per event this year, compared with 61.74 in 2016.

His stroke average is also lower - 71.85 last year, 70.72 this season.

Dunne's Race to Dubai ranking at the end of 2016 was 106, but he is 33rd to date.

It's all very positive but Dunne is ambitious and a maiden Tour victory ranks very high on his list of goals.

He came agonisingly close to making the dream a reality in the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco when he lost in a play-off to Italy's Edoardo Molinari.

Dunne is the only Irish player in action in Switzerland where Sweden's Alex Noren defends his title. The Irishman, 24, will hope to improve on his debut in the tournament last year when he missed the cut.

The Challenge Tour breaks new ground this week by utilising a modified Stableford format in the Bridgestone Challenge at Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa.

Cormac Sharvin, Dermot McElroy, Ruaidhri McGee, Neil O'Briain, and Chris Selfridge play in the tournament which awards seven points for an albatross; five for eagle; two for a birdie; nil for par; -1 for a bogey and -3 points for double-bogey or worse.

Senior

Brendan McGovern, the Headfort GC professional, hopes to bring his good form from last week's Travis Perkins Masters into the Senior Italian Open which starts tomorrow at Golf Club Udine.

McGovern finished second at Woburn last Sunday and is on course to retain his card on the senior circuit.

Ronan Rafferty and Philip Walton, both former Ryder Cup players, are the other Irish entered for the Italian event.

Omega European Masters,

Live, Sky Sports Golf, 10.30am

Irish Independent

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