Wednesday 17 January 2018

Ireland's Paul Dunne leads the way in Alfred Dunhill Championship

Paul Dunne of Ireland in action
Paul Dunne of Ireland in action

Defending champion Charl Schwartzel and Irishman Paul Dunne led the way after the opening round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

Schwartzel notched a birdie at the last to post a flawless opening-round 66 and join Dunne, who carded eight birdies and a double bogey at Leopard Creek Country Club on Thursday, on six under par.

The duo sit one shot clear of a large chasing pack which includes Englishman Max Orrin and Scotland's Scott Jamieson as well as home favourites Jean Hugo and Brandon Stone.

After carding a single birdie in his opening nine holes, Schwartzel made back-to-back gains at the 10th and 11th before taking advantage of the three par-fives on the back nine - the 13th, 15th and 18th - to take a share of the lead.

After his round, Schwartzel told "On the front nine, I was just really grinding hard to make pars, and when I did find some good shots, I capitalised by making birdies, which was nice.

Meanwhile, an early birdie blitz saw Dunne pick up four shots in his first eight holes, only for a double bogey at the ninth to halt his progress.

But the 24-year-old bounced back in style, notching birdies at the 11th, 13th, 15th and 17th to get to six under.

Dunne said: "For me I feel if I can get the ball in play off the tee, with how my irons are feeling and with how good the greens are, I feel if I drive the ball well I'll give myself loads of chances."

Press Association

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