Paul Dunne on his British Masters breakthrough
At the recent British Masters young Irishman, Paul Dunne made his European Tour breakthrough in sensational style.
This was not the nervy and attritional type of victory that you often associate with first-time winners; rather it was an exhibition of supremely confident and attacking golf, good enough to deny one of the most naturally talented players the game has ever seen in Rory McIlroy, who himself carded a superb final round 63.
That show of class in the heat of a Sunday battle will no doubt give Dunne a huge confidence boost moving forwards and was reminiscent of the performance he put in over the course of the first three days at The Open Championship back in 2015.
At the Home of Golf no less, Dunne who was an amateur and relative unknown at the time, produced three fantastic rounds of golf to lead golf’s oldest major at the game’s most historic course at the 54-hole mark.
Though his dreams of a remarkable capture of the Claret Jug at St Andrews slipped away during the final round, everybody who was lucky enough to see him in action that week was left with a lasting impression of his potential to succeed at the very highest level of the game.
Later that year Dunne’s star continued to rise as he secured his European Tour playing rights for 2016 via Q School - but his first year on tour, as is so often the case, was far from plain sailing.
His adjustment to life on tour may not have been entirely smooth but even prior to his British Masters triumph, 2017 was proving to be far kinder. Dunne’s runner-up finish in Morocco at the Trophee Hassan II was perhaps the best example of this improvement in his fortunes and it seemed only a matter of time before he would find himself bang in contention once more.
That time came at Close House, where he proved that he is a capable and classy closer.