Friday 23 March 2018

Dunne fires course record


Paul Dunne blasted his way to a course record at Princes on the Kent coast to sweep up the leaderboard in the second qualifying round of the British Amateur Championship and grab a place among the seeds for the knockout phase.

The 20-year-old Greystones player, who lost in the final of the Irish Close Championship, fired a stunning seven-under-par 65 for a 36-hole total of 142.

The highlight of his round was an eagle three on the 505-yard 15th when he slotted a 20-foot putt after a drive and a five iron.

Jack Hume of Rathsallagh qualified with plenty to spare after a solid 72 for 143 and Cormac Sharvin, the shock winner of the Irish Close, also made it by adding a 73 to his 72 on Monday.

Aaron Kearney from Castlerock produced an inspired performance to post a 71 for a 144 total, while Stackstown's Richard Bridges also made it into the match-play phase with an excellent aggregate of 146 after two rounds of 73.

Judd Trump and Mark Allen were shock first-round casualties in China's Wuxi Classic, the opening ranking event of the season.

World No 3 Trump was beaten 5-2 by home player Li Hang, who earned his return to the professional ranks with a run to the final of last season's third Asian Players Tour Championship event.

The 22-year-old's most notable scalps previously came at the 2011 China Open, where he beat Ken Doherty and Graeme Dott before losing 5-4 to Shaun Murphy.

Allen followed Trump out of the tournament after losing a hard-fought encounter against Leeds' Peter Lines 5-4.

World Championship finalist Barry Hawkins finally shook off the dogged Fergal O'Brien 5-3, while John Higgins eased past Australia's Vinnie Calabrese 5-1.

Jimmy Robertson made even lighter work of 2006 world champion Dott, winning 5-0, but two-time world champion Mark Williams was pushed all the way before getting the better of 22-year-old Liam Highfield 5-4.

Five-time singles champion Venus Williams has pulled out of Wimbledon because of a back injury.

The 33-year-old struggled with the problem during the clay-court season and has not played since withdrawing from the doubles at Roland Garros with sister Serena.

Irish Independent

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