Peter Byrne
Pay Day

Top-10 finish for Paul Dunne as his title hopes fade on final day

The Greystones man pocketed a cheque for more than €20,000 for his ninth-place finish in South Africa.

GREYSTONES GOLFER PAUL Dunne failed to hit the heady heights of previous rounds but still claimed an impressive ninth-place finish at the Joburg Open today.

Dunne was just two shots off the lead heading into the final round after carding a 63 on Friday and a 68 on Saturday.

But the 23-year-old’s final round got off to a poor start, carding bogeys at the third and fourth holes before recovering with three birdies in four holes to finish off his front nine.

His back nine began with two bogeys though and he never really recovered from there, finishing up with a level-par 72, five birdies and five bogeys, for the day.

That was good enough for a 13-under-par total, five shots behind winner Haydn Porteous of South Africa, securing a ninth-place finish and a cheque for €20,961.

Waterford’s Kevin Phelan bounced back from a tough Saturday, where he carded a 76, to finish four-under par for the day and in a tie for 53rd on three-under.

Porteous will make his British Open debut later this year after claiming his maiden European Tour title.

The 21-year-old shot an error-free three-under-par 69 to take victory by two shots in his home city at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club, a birdie at the final hole taking him to 18-under for the tournament and capping a memorable weekend.

Porteous had been in a three-way tie for the lead heading into the final round but, as Zander Lombard and Anthony Wall dropped shots, he remained consistent with seven successive pars to start the day on the East Course.

He picked up his first birdie of the day on the eighth, before adding another two in the final five holes — his precision from the fairway seeing him hit every green in regulation on his way to victory.

“Words can’t describe how I feel right now, it’s surreal to be honest,” Porteous said.

“I have been battling with my golf for last few months, hats off to my team for the strategy and game-plan, there was a lot of sweat and tears [along the way]. I just can’t get over this feeling right now.

“I had been battling with my driver for past two days but I started to hit a few fairways [today], and a lot more greens to give chance to make birdie.

“Unfortunately the putts didn’t go in, but kept the pressure low to make sure I made par.”

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