Tuesday 12 December 2017

Greystone's Dunne marches on in Sandwich

Golf in brief: Paul Dunne continued his triumphant march in the British Amateur Championship by reaching the third round in Kent – just 24 hours after a record-breaking performance at the qualifying stage.

The 20-year-old plus-four handicapper, who set a new record for the Prince's course in Sandwich, overcame England's Ashton Turner by 2&1 after getting off to a blistering start.

He won the first four holes and seemed set for an overwhelming success and, when he was five up with six to play, it appeared all over.

But Dunne then slumped to four bogeys in a row to lose all those holes, which cut his lead to one ahead.

However, Turner made a mess of the 17th, which gifted Dunne the tie. "I felt I was always in control, but if it had gone to the last I would have been nervous," said the East of Ireland champion from Greystones.

Dunne has enjoyed a great season so far, being beaten in the final of the Irish Amateur Close title last week and securing impressive finishes in tournaments in the US.

Dunne now faces Garrick Porteous of England for a place in the last 16 after Porteous eliminated Cormac Sharvin 3&2.

Dunne was joined in the third round by Castlerock's Aaron Kearney, who beat Welsh Boys' champion Henry James 4&2.

Jack Hume was beaten 2&1 by Ashley Chesters, while Stackstown's Richard Bridges, Shane McGlynn of Carton House and Royal Portrush battler Matthew McAlpin were all edged out.


Leona Maguire will attempt to put the disappointment of making an early exit from the Ladies' British Amateur Championship last week behind her when she defends her Irish Close title at Ballybunion.

The 18-year-old Slieve Russell star went out of the British in the third round, while her twin sister Lisa, who is also at Ballybunion, progressed to the quarter-finals. This is the first of three major events in the next five weeks, with both European Championships – team and individual – following in July.

Lisburn's Paula Grant could make a significant impact, while Emma O'Driscoll will hope to use local knowledge to her advantage and Olivia Mehaffey will aim to warm up for next week's Junior Vagliano Trophy match in Chantilly with a stylish display.

Irish Independent

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