Paul Dunne is firmly in contention in China as he chases his first European Tour victory

Meanwhile, Pádraig Harrington is in action at the Texas Open later today.

Dunne had five birdies on his way to a 68.
Dunne had five birdies on his way to a 68.
Image: European Tour

PAUL DUNNE FINDS himself just two shots off the lead at the Shenzhen International in China after a four-under-par opening round on Thursday.

The Greystones golfer made five birdies and dropped just one shot on his way to recording a 68 at the Genzon Golf Club.

Dunne currently lies in a tie for fourth, behind leaders Alexander Levy and Soomin Lee.

The 23-year-old, who finished in a tie for 16th at last week’s Open de Espana, carded birdies on three and eight and picked up two more after the turn.

His round was interrupted by a 45-minute weather delay and on the resumption, Dunne temporarily lost his momentum as he dropped his only shot of the day at the par-four 14th.

The former Blackrock College student repaired the damage with a birdie on the penultimate hole and he heads into Friday’s second round in a healthy position.

He trails Frenchman Levy and Lee by two shots while Brandon Stone, who still has one hole to play of his first round, is five-under par.

Bubba Watson is five shots off the pace after an opening round 71 while Michael Hoey, the only other Irishman in the field this week, is four-over par.

Gavin Cooney
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Meanwhile, Pádraig Harrington tees off at the Valero Texas Open on the PGA Tour at 2pm Irish time.

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