Tuesday 22 January 2019

Dunne won't be rushing it in race for next victory

Paul Dunne in action during the Pro Am event prior to the start of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco yesterday Photo: Getty
Paul Dunne in action during the Pro Am event prior to the start of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco yesterday Photo: Getty

Brian Keogh

Paul Dunne insists he won't speed up even if he's a man in a hurry to make the world's top 50.

The Greystones ace (25) tees it up in the Trophée Hassan II in Morocco today determined to continue doing things his way as he bids to double his tally of European Tour wins.

He came close to his maiden victory in Rabat last year, eventually losing out to Italy's Edoardo Molinari in a play-off.

But after going on to hold off Rory McIlroy with that stunning closing 61 to claim the British Masters, the new world No 68 is hoping to put last Sunday's runner-up finish to Jon Rahm in the Spanish Open behind him and contend again at an extensively redesigned Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, even if it means playing slow golf again.

Admitting he's trying hard to speed up, he told RTé 2FM's Game On: "When it comes down to it on a Sunday, if I am not ready to hit a shot, I'd rather take the extra 15 seconds, if I feel I can hole a putt than try to hit it quicker just for the sake of hitting it.

"It's something I am conscious of, and I am trying to work on. But when it comes down to that situation I am not going to try and experiment with something, I am going to do whatever will make me play the best.

"I will work to get better at it but at the end of the day you are trying to put in the best performance you can and whatever it takes to do that is what you are going to do."

Given his hot run of form - he's finished tied fifth, tied eighth and second in his last three starts - it's no surprise he's the title favourite in Morocco, where he joins Gavin Moynihan and 2013 winner Michael Hoey in a three-pronged Irish challenge.

Set to tee it up with Molinari and 2016 Ryder Cup star Thomas Pieters, he believes last year's experience stood to him in the British Masters and he's hoping he gets another chance to contend this week

"I think it was the first time I was really in that position with three or four holes to play," Dunne said of last year's final day, when he lost out in a play-off.

"I learned about how best I can handle it. Then I did a good job of that when it came to the British Masters, but it was a great experience.

"It was great to know that on a tough course like this, I could play well and give myself a lead.


"Obviously, it's much different this year with the greens, but it's still the same layout from tee-to-green visually, so hopefully I can have another good week.

"The golf course is going to keep everybody on edge. The greens are new, slopey and quite firm, and it's one of the tougher courses we play on Tour off the tee as well."

He added: "The scoring will be extremely moderate but it is a course I like and have done well on and the difficulty around the greens will suit me, so hopefully I will give myself a chance again.

"After Spain, I'm not any more determined than normal. My game has been in good shape for five or six weeks now.

"I've been playing some good golf every week. I'm just going to continue what I'm doing and hopefully have another chance to win and see if I can do better."

If it's another big week for Dunne, it's also a key week for Moynihan, who has missed eight cuts in a row since winning his European Tour card last year.

On the PGA Tour, Graeme McDowell and Seamus Power tee it up in the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio looking to make a move up the FedEx Cup standings as the season reaches the halfway point.

Despite showing some sparks of brilliance, McDowell has just one top 25 finish so far this year and lies 119th in the standings, while Power is 126th with the top 125 keeping their cards

The field includes eight of the world's top 50 in Sergio Garcia, Matt Kuchar, Pat Perez, Charley Hoffman, Xander Schauffele, Si Woo Kim, defending champion Kevin Chappell and Brendan Steele.

McDowell was 27th behind Chappell last year as Power finished tied 58th at a demanding venue where straight drivers traditionally do well.

Trophee Hassan II
Live, Sky Sports Golf, 2.30pm

Valero Texas Open
Live, Sky Sports Golf, 8.30pm

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