Saturday 24 February 2018

Ireland's Paul Dunne forces play-off but can't secure first tour win as Molinari claims Trophee Hassan II

Paul Dunne has qualified for the US Open
Paul Dunne has qualified for the US Open

Phil Casey

Italy's Edoardo Molinari and Ireland's Paul Dunne went into a play-off for the Trophee Hassan II after the pair finished tied on nine under par at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam.

Molinari stormed into contention with two eagles in his last seven holes to set the clubhouse target which Dunne was able to match with a birdie on the 18th.

Dunne began the day with a two-shot lead and was three clear after recovering from a bogey on the first with birdies on the second and fifth, but bogeyed the sixth and was never able to shake off the chasing pack.

The 24-year-old, who shared the 54-hole lead in the 2015 Open at St Andrews while still an amateur, carded two more birdies on the back nine but immediately followed each with a bogey.

Another bogey on the 16th left him needing to birdie one of the final two holes to catch Molinari and a superb chip from the edge of the 18th green set up a tap-in for a closing 72.

After starting the day four shots off the lead, Molinari covered the front nine in level par before following a birdie on the 11th with an eagle on the par-five 12th after a brilliant approach from 250 yards.

The 36-year-old's chance looked to have gone when he bogeyed the 16th after finding two bunkers on the tough par four, but he birdied the 17th from close range and holed from 20 feet for another eagle on the last.

Press Association

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