Ireland’s Paul Dunne leads way at Turkish Open

Paul Dunne
Paul Dunne

Paul Dunne carded a seven under par round of 64 to take the first round lead at the Turkish Airlines Open.

World Number Two Justin Rose, three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington and Danish Ryder Cup player Thorbjørn Olesen are all one shot back in the sixth Rolex Series event of the season.

The 25 year old Irishman opened with a birdie at the 11th – his first hole – and picked up six more in a flawless round as he chases a second European Tour title, to add to his British Masters triumph in 2017.

Rose, meanwhile, would return to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking with a successful title defence at Regnum Carya Resort, and the Englishman was certainly in winning form as he holed out with his approach at the par-four fourth hole for an eagle two on the way to a bogey-free 65.

He was joined on six under par by Harrington and Olesen, who won at this venue in 2016. Lee Westwood and two-time Major Champion Martin Kaymer were among the group of seven players another shot back on five under.

Paul Dunne said: “I think the biggest thing I did out there was on the three or four difficult tee shots, I hit really good tee shots, and apart from that, the ones I leaked a little bit were on holes you could get away with it and you could make birdie still from the rough.

“That’s what I was pleased with, the holes I needed to hit a good shot on, I stepped up and hit a really straight one. I left a few putts short out there but I think we can always say that. A few short in the middle but I’ll take it.

“To be honest, I just haven’t been hitting the ball very well. It is nice to see a bit of form, post a good score and get a bogey-free round on the card.”

And Harrington was pleased with his round.

“I’ve been in decent form now from mid-summer onwards. I’m a bit disappointed with some erratic putting over the past couple weeks, which had not been as bad early in the year.

“I’ve certainly got my head in the game and I’m working on the right things. I need to be out on the course and playing and hitting the shots and getting my game going.”