Paul Dunne followed up his maiden European Tour victory last week with an impressive opening round 67 at the Old Course in St Andrews to share the lead at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
The Irishman made his professional breakthrough last week at the British Masters supported by Sky Sports after chipping in at the last to clinch a three-shot win over four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy.
But it was at the Home of Golf, St Andrews, where Dunne first put himself in the spotlight, having shared the lead heading into the final day of The 2015 Open Championship. He put that experience to good use on day one at the unique pro-am tournament as the 24 year old carded four birdies and an eagle two at the ninth hole on the way to a five under round.
He was joined on that score by Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, who holed a 15 foot putt at the 18th in Kingbarns for a back-to-back birdie finish and a 67, while defending champion Tyrrell Hatton of England was one of five players a shot off the lead on four under par.
Paul Dunne: “My game still feels good. Yeah, it takes that little bit of pressure off when you’ve done it once. My iron play was good today. Disappointing finish, but in general feeling good and life is pretty good at the minute.
“I was hitting everything pin-high on the front nine, which is a big advantage because the greens are so big. You’re probably not going to miss many. But when it gets windy, two-putting from 60 feet can be difficult.
“But then I eagled the ninth, which is downwind and drivable. I drove it to around 30 feet and holed it, so that kind of got me off on the right foot starting the back nine. And I didn’t play great coming in. I kind of did the opposite of what I should have done but I’ll take the five-under.”
Nicolas Colsaerts: “I kept very much composed. It could have been a lot lower but I pressed it till the end, which is nice. I birdied 17 which is not really a birdie hole. I hit it really close and finished it off with the longest putt of the day on 18, which is nice.
“It’s not easy. It blows quite a bit when you have shots into and coming off the left. They have changed a few pins, as well, which I think must be the reason. We always play this course with certain pins and all of a sudden you get different ones, so you kind of have to play the golf course a little different than what you’re used to. That’s the only explanation I can find for the higher scoring.”
Tyrrell Hatton: “I thought it was a pretty tough day out there to be honest. Obviously the front nine was in worst wind that you can ask for, into off the left, and you get the benefit when you make the turn on 12 back to the clubhouse and then you come in.
“Overall, I’m pretty happy. I felt like I left a couple of shots out there but it’s not easy out in those conditions. I think four-under is a good score today.”
Ryan Fox: “Shane (Warne) and I dovetailed well. I had five birdies and a bogey, and the hole I bogeyed, he made net birdie anyway. He played some great golf, took advantage of short holes and made a couple of clutch putts and we combined well as a team.
“Obviously Carnoustie is a tough golf course, probably a bit tougher than here at St Andrews, and I’m not sure what the conditions will bring tomorrow but hopefully a little less windy. As Shane said it was a lot of fun out there today and if we can do the same, it doesn’t matter what we score, just go out and have fun.”
Joel Stalter: “I played very, very well. It was windy and it’s my first time here. People say the scoring is always low here, but I think it’s playing really tough. It’s cold, so it was tough at the beginning to get into the round, and you were waiting a lot. So you get cold, but I played really well, started really well and I played well on the back nine. It was a nice four-under round.”
Oliver Fisher: “I was very pleased with my back nine, which was the front nine. It was playing tough today. I think I hit three-iron into the second, and six-iron into the third, and four-iron into the fourth.
“So those holes were playing probably as long as I’ve ever played them here. I think on the fifth, I had 72 yards on and I hit driver, three-wood, nine-iron, and that hole is usually a pretty much gimmie birdie. I’m very pleased with my back nine. I’m happy to get around here today in four-under.”
67 P Dunne (Irl) , N Colsaerts (Bel) ,
68 S Lowry (Irl) , T Hatton (Eng) , R Fox (Nzl) , J Stalter (Fra) , O Fisher (Eng) ,
69 J Wang (Kor) , B Evans (Eng) , R Langasque (Fra) , D Drysdale (Sco) , B Hebert (Fra) , M Wallace (Eng) , J Lagergren (Swe) , M Siem (Ger) , G McDowell (Nir) , G Coetzee (RSA) ,
70 J Donaldson (Wal) , N Bertasio (Ita) , G Moynihan (Irl) , L Cianchetti (Ita) , B Grace (RSA) , B Ritthammer (Ger) , J Smith (Eng) , G Bourdy (Fra) , A Rai (Eng) , A Price (Aus) , S Jamieson (Sco) , R Gibson (Aus) , L Donald (Eng) , T Fleetwood (Eng) , A Levy (Fra) , J Luiten (Ned) , O Bekker (RSA) , R Wattel (Fra) , M Warren (Sco) , G Havret (Fra) , B Dredge (Wal) , K Aphibarnrat (Tha) , D Frittelli (RSA)
71 J Fahrbring (Swe) , J Kruger (RSA) , L Westwood (Eng) , J Davidson (Wal) , J Ahlers (RSA) , R Jacquelin (Fra) , C Pigem (Esp) , A Quiros (Esp) , L Jensen (Den) , S Brazel (Aus) , J Morrison (Eng) , R Fisher (Eng) , M Armitage (Eng) , M Kaymer (Ger) , P Hanson (Swe) , R Gouveia (Por) , A Chesters (Eng) , B Stone (RSA) , R Ramsay (Sco) , J Quesne (Fra) , Z Lombard (RSA) , T Detry (Bel) , N Elvira (Esp) , R Rock (Eng) , P Lawrie (Sco) , S Gregory (Eng) ,
72 J Scrivener (Aus) , S Lee (Kor) , S Heisele (Ger) , Y Chang (Kor) , S Gallacher (Sco) , G Stal (Fra) , A Björk (Swe) , J Suri (USA) , S Manley (Wal) , S Chawrasia (Ind) , P Angles (Esp) , L Johnston (Sco) , E Pepperell (Eng) , L Canter (Eng) , C Kresge (USA) , D Howell (Eng) , P Harrington (Irl) , D Brooks (Eng) , R Sterne (RSA) , C Syme (Sco) , M Pavon (Fra) , D Perrier (Fra) ,
73 A Michael (RSA) , N Fasth (Swe) , J Campillo (Esp) , A Dodt (Aus) , B Quigley (USA) , T Olesen (Den) , C Bezuidenhout (RSA) , T Bjørn (Den) , M Kieffer (Ger) , J Holmes (USA) , M Fitzpatrick (Eng) , S Hend (Aus) , T Aiken (RSA) , L Slattery (Eng) , A Wall (Eng) , M Giles (Aus) , E Molinari (Ita) , U Van Den Berg (RSA) , B Rumford (Aus) , A Plant (Eng) , A Knappe (Ger) , P Waring (Eng) , A Otaegui (Esp) , J Kruyswijk (RSA) , R McIlroy (Nir) , R Bland (Eng) ,
74 C Paisley (Eng) , B An (Kor) , H Porteous (RSA) , M Carlsson (Swe) , A Hansen (Den) , T Jaidee (Tha) , C Hanson (Eng) , F Zanotti (Par) , F Aguilar (Chi) , M Ilonen (Fin) , M Manassero (Ita) , J Lima (Por) , J Walters (RSA) , A Evans (Aus) , P Khongwatmai (Tha) , M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) , V Dubuisson (Fra) , E De La Riva (Esp) , M Fraser (Aus) , W Ormsby (Aus) , E Els (RSA) , D Fichardt (RSA) ,
75 D Horsey (Eng) , R Karlberg (Swe) , S Leaney (Aus) , G Storm (Eng) , A Cañizares (Esp) , A Hall (Aus) , G Forrest (Sco) , S Walker (Eng) , P Peterson (USA) , N Holman (Aus) , P Tangkamolprasert (Tha) , R Karlsson (Swe) ,
76 L Bjerregaard (Den) , P Newcomb (USA) , D Im (USA) , N Kimsey (Eng) , S Gros (Fra) , C Shinkwin (Eng) , P Larrazábal (Esp) ,
77 R Paratore (Ita) , D Burmester (RSA) , T Lewis (Eng) ,
78 S Appleby (Aus) , M Southgate (Eng) , J Carlsson (Swe) , W Ashun (Chn) ,
79 F Fritsch (Ger) , J Singh Brar (Eng) ,
80 T Sinnott (Aus) ,
81 A Connelly (Can) ,
82 S Dyson (Eng) , D Stewart (Sco) ,