Sport Golf

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Dunne is delighted to 'finish strong' as he sets his sights on The Open


Paul Dunne. Photo: Getty
Paul Dunne. Photo: Getty

Brian Keogh

Paul Dunne is gunning for another crack at The Open after he closed with a super 67 to finish tied fourth in the Made in Denmark at Himmerland.

As Austria's Bernd Wiesberger matched Scotsman Robert MacIntyre's 66 to claim his fifth European Tour title by a shot after a thrilling final round tussle, Dunne is looking forward to trying to make it to Royal Portrush after a watershed week.

Lying 101st in the money list with his exemption for winning the 2017 British Masters set to expire this year, the Greystones star (26) left Denmark on a high.

"I wasn't losing patience, just getting frustrated with not being able to hit the shots I was seeing," said Dunne, who raced home in four-under 31 to finish five strokes behind Wiesberger on nine-under and move up to 62nd in the Race to Dubai after banking €109,440.

"It had nothing to do with results or finishes; I'd just lost the feeling of hitting pure shots. So it was nice to hit a few again and finish strong with the main part of the season only starting."

He's skipping next week's US Open Sectional Qualifier at Walton Heath to better prepare for a big run of events he hopes will help him qualify for The Open.

He will start by defending the GolfSixes title in Portugal with pal Gavin Moynihan (24), who shot a final round 66 to tie for 16th in Denmark, banking €41,400 to move up to 126th in the Race to Dubai.

"I'd rather focus on the GolfSixes and the run from Germany to Scotland," said Dunne, who is also skipping this week's Belgian Knockout.

"I was delighted to shoot five-under," Moynihan said after making an eagle and four birdies in his 66 to land his biggest cheque since last year's Andalucia Valderrama Masters.

"It's been coming, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the year now and see if I can improve on that.

"I have a busy schedule coming up with the Irish Open in a few weeks and then Valderrama, where I did well last year. So there are a few venues I'm looking forward to and the game's slowly getting there."

Michael Hoey shot 67 to finish 41st in Denmark, but it was also an excellent day for Dunne and Moynihan's 2015 Walker Cup team-mate Cormac Sharvin (26), who shot 66 to finish fourth in the D+D REAL Czech Challenge.

The Ardglass man won €12,000 and moved up to 13th in the Challenge Tour Rankings, with the top 15 winning their cards, after a five-under round left him six shots behind England's Ross McGowan on 12-under.

Portmarnock Links' Robin Dawson (23) shot 69 to share 25th and move up to 44th in the standings, but it was tougher going for the Irish in the US.

Graeme McDowell ended up propping up the field in the PGA Tour's Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial on 12-over after a 72, while Paul McGinley's 75 left him 70th on 21-over in the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Oak Hill.

Stephanie Meadow closed with a 67 to finish 42nd in the LPGA Tour's Pure Silk Championship in Virginia ahead of this week's US Women's Open.

She'll be joined at the Country Club of Charleston by Leona Maguire, who finished tied 52nd in six-over in the Zimmer Biomet Championship in Alabama after a final round 72.

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