Saturday 20 October 2018

Dunne in no hurry to chase American dream

Paul Dunne has struggled to find top form. Photo: John Dickson/Sportsfile
Paul Dunne has struggled to find top form. Photo: John Dickson/Sportsfile

Brian Keogh

Paul Dunne insists that making the world's top 50 is the only way he'll be tempted to take up his PGA Tour card.

The Greystones star began the year as a Ryder Cup contender but has failed to make hay this summer and lies 81st in the rankings after getting to a career-high 65th in April.

Since taking much of June off to prepare for the summer, Dunne has struggled to find top form with a share of 21st in the Open de France his best performance since he was second to Jon Rahm in Madrid and seventh in the China Open in the spring.

"I've played crap in all of them," Dunne joked of a run that took him from Paris to Ballyliffin, Gullane and Carnoustie before his debut in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron last week ahead of the PGA Championship tomorrow.

Frustrated to hit just 30 percent of the fairways in Ohio and finishing tied 66th in a 71-man field, he knows he has to be patient.

Dunne is hoping to turn things around at Bellerive, where there is more room off the tee and little rough, but he admits the signs are not promising.

"It hasn't looked far away for a while but it just hasn't felt all that good," he said.

"It's a bit of a rough patch and I just have to be patient, I suppose, but I am not very good at doing that."

Ranked ninth for non-member earnings on the PGA Tour this year, a win this week would secure Dunne's PGA Tour future.

But, if that doesn't happen, he's opted against battling for his card via the Web.com Tour play-offs.

"I have no interest really, to be honest," he said of the PGA Tour. "I could play those play-off events that are coming up, but I am not going to play them.

"I have no immediate desire to play in America. If it happens and I start playing very well, then yes. But until then, until I am in that top 50 in the world, then no."

As for Bellerive, Dunne saw low scoring on the cards, even before yesterday's deluge, but he's also wary of the challenge.

"There are a couple of holes on the front nine where you have got to just make par," he said, picking out the long fifth and tough, par-three sixth.

It's a challenge he'll take in his stride before facing another for that top-50 spot.

Irish Independent

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