Ireland’s Paul Dunne got of to a superb start in the Open de Espana, shooting an opening round 66 that included five birdies and an eagle to share the lead with Scotland’s Marc Warren.
He picked up a shot on the first hole and although bogeying the second, hit the turn under-par after a birdie on the par-five fifth, before more birdies on 11, 13 and 16.
In poor conditions, Dunne moved level with clubhouse leader Warren with a superb eagle three on the 18th, his second finishing within 10-yards of the hole.
Dunne, who won the British Masters last year, explained afterwards: “I find the greens quite tricky to read, especially on the front nine, so it was nice to get a couple of putts to go in on the back nine.”
World number four Jon Rahm surprised himself with an opening 67 to lie just a shot off the lead. Rahm, who finished fourth in the Masters on Sunday, carded an eagle, four birdies and a solitary bogey at the Centro Nacional de Golf, where he practised during his amateur days.
“It feels great,” Rahm said. “To be honest I would have taken anything under par given the fact that I played better than I expected, especially off the tee.”
Three-time winner Tiger Woods has officially entered the US Open, which will be contested at Shinnecock Hills from June 14-17.
Woods, whose last major title came in the US Open in 2008, has not played in the event since missing the cut at Chambers Bay in 2015.
The 42-year-old, who finished tied 32nd in the Masters last week, made his US Open debut at Shinnecock Hills in 1995 but withdrew due to injury in the second round. He finished tied for 17th at the same venue in 2004.
Ronan Mullarney secured his second win in two weeks by clinching a one-shot victory at the Irish Students’ Amateur Open in Tralee.
Mullarney carded a final round 71 to finish the 54-hole tournament on three under par, one stroke clear of Maynooth University teammate Jack McDonnell.
Fresh from his victory at The R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament in St Andrews the week before, Mullarney prevailed again thanks largely to a superb second round of 66, which moved him into a share of the lead going into the final day.
Level with Alan Fahy (Maynooth University) at the start of round three, Mullarney made his move on the front nine, picking up three birdies before the turn. Fahy was two behind at that stage but it was Jack McDonnell who mounted the biggest challenge. McDonnell began the day one behind the leading pair.
He birdied 18 to close with 71, the joint low round of the day, but Mullarney matched his effort to stay at the top.
In the team event, Maynooth’s A side featuring Mullarney, Fahy and Cathal Butler took the honours. They were four shots clear of the field.
And it was a clean sweep for Maynooth as Clodagh Walsh won the ladies event by 13 shots.
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