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Dublin: 6 °C Sunday 23 February, 2020

He's Dunne It Again! Ireland's 2015 bolter clinches place at this year's Open

Paul Dunne is off to Troon after winning the Woburn qualifier for the third year in a row.

Dunne: shared the lead through 54 holes at St Andrews last year.
Dunne: shared the lead through 54 holes at St Andrews last year.
Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

IRELAND’S PAUL DUNNE has booked his return to the Open Championship after finishing top of the pile at the final qualifying tournament at Woburn.

Dunne shot back-to-back rounds of 68 and 67 to finish the day on nine-under-par and put his name on draw sheet for next month’s Major at Royal Troon.

It was the third straight year that the Greystones golfer has won the Woburn qualifier.

Dunne was an unlikely hero at last year’s tournament when, playing as a 22-year-old amateur, he remarkably started the final round tied for a share of the overall lead.

The ultimate Cinderella story failed to materialise as he shot a 78 and finished down the leaderboard in a tie for 30th.

Dunne went on to make his pro debut in September, winning a full European Tour card at his first attempt as well as making a few appearances on the PGA Tour circuit.

And although he fell well outside the automatic qualifying criteria for the 2016 Open, Woburn proved to be a very happy hunting ground once again as he clinched one of the final places.

Colin Montgomerie, Matthew Southgate and Robert Rock were among Wednesday’s other qualifiers as the field for the 145th edition of the world’s oldest Major takes shape.

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Niall Kelly

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