As if his week at The Open wasn’t painful enough, Paul Dunne will prolong his discomfort today when he undergoes a medical procedure to remove a cyst on his hand.
It is fair to say Dunne, 25, has not enjoyed his third Open Championship appearance, or indeed his three weeks of links golf at Ballyliffin, Gullane and Carnoustie, where, after making the halfway cut, he did not create the momentum he had hoped for, scoring a two-over-par 73 on Saturday, before playing out the third major of the year yesterday with a three-over 74 to finish seven over par for the tournament.
A fortnight ago, he tied for 40th at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, then missed the cut at last week’s Scottish Open.
“Three weeks of links a year is enough for me,” said Dunne, who after a week off at home in Greystones will cross the Atlantic to play the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Ohio and the final major of the year, the PGA Championship at Bellerive in St Louis, Missouri.
“I’m not really thinking about it now,” he said of his trip Stateside. “I’ll be happy when I get there. I’ll be happy not playing a links golf course.
“I didn’t play well. Just like, three over (for his final round), as I played. I wasn’t really playing for much anyway. It was not a great week.”
Dunne, who started Open week ranked 76 in the world, played all four rounds with a cyst on top of his right hand and the British Masters champion said: “I think it’s just a tiny needle that will be used to burst the cyst. I don’t think it’s a big deal, I’ll be in and out in an hour. Apparently, it’s very common. I’ll get it done tomorrow (Monday) and will then get home tomorrow night. I can’t play for three days after so I guess I’ll do other stuff.”
Speaking after his final-round 74, the Irishman said he could see few positives from his Carnoustie experience, despite getting another four rounds of major championship golf under his belt.
“I played four rounds and I didn’t do well in any of them. My game wasn’t great the whole week, I didn’t have anything to play for on Sunday. It is what it is.”
Dunne finished Irish Open week in similarly benign conditions at level par, but said Carnoustie’s bunkers made for a stiffer challenge.
“The greens are softer. The bunkering is more penal here. There’s a lot more bunkers and you can’t do anything from the bunkers.
“In Ballyliffin, there are a lot less bunkers and a lot of them you can hit the green from if you’re in the middle of them.
“But outside of that it was fairly similar. Ballyliffin was firm and fiery, it was difficult to get on the fairway, similar to here.”