Dunne follows his putt on the 16th green as Ooosthuizen looks on. David J. Phillip
tasting claret

Paul Dunne felt 'at home, comfortable' while forcing his way in to Open Championship lead

“It was just a good day, I felt comfortable and hope for the same tomorrow.”

WICKLOW MAN PAUL Dunne appeared remarkably grounded despite his lofty leaderboard position after today’s delayed third round of The Open Championship.

The 22-year-old amateur is locked at 12 under par alongside Louis Oosthuizen and Jason Day, one shot clear of back-to-back Major champ Jordan Spieth.

Speaking to the BBC after today’s sensational round of -6, Dunne said he was trying his best to keep his head down and play each hole on its merits, but when it became apparent that he has leading the pack, the Greystones man flourished.

“I was trying to play each hole as it came, but there’s a scoreboard behind 10.

“So when I hit the 18-20 footer for birdie and saw I was tied for first and could take it on my own if I made it, I said to my caddie: ‘how cool would it be to lead The Open on a Sunday?’

“I know it’s a different kind of Sunday, but it got me excited to make the putt and finish the round off.”

As an amateur Dunne’s target before the Thursday tee off was to win the silver medal for leading amateur. The range of goals naturally tend to shorten for athletes during competition, yet nobody should be in any doubt that Dunne is going for a prize of a different shade, Claret.

“Each day I’m putting a number in my head that I need to shoot to put me where I wanted. I’m just going to do the same tomorrow.

“I’m going to look at what the weather’s going to be like, where the pins are set up, put a number in my head and see if I can shoot it – play every hole as it comes.”

The University of Alabama man added: ”In simplistic terms it really was (just another round of links golf).

“The golf ball does what you tell it to do. There’s just a lot more people watching, a lot more cameras than normal. I was really nervous to start the round, but once I got out there to number three I settled down a little bit. I felt really comfortable. With so much support from the crowd I felt like I was at home.

“It was just a good day, I felt comfortable and hope for the same tomorrow.”

Selected tee times for The Open’s final round on Monday

14.30 Paul Dunne and Louis Oosthuizen14.20 Jordan Spieth and Jason Day

14.10 Padraig Harrington and Marc Leishman

13.40 Adam Scott and Robert Streb

12.25 Dustin Johnson and Jim Furyk

09.05 Graeme McDowell and Gary Woodland

With one round left, Ireland’s Paul Dunne is joint-leader of the Open at St Andrews

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