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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 11 December, 2018

Paul Dunne continues rich vein of form with strong start in China

The Greystones golfer is just four shots behind first-round leader Bubba Watson at the Shenzhen International.

Paul Dunne is dealing well with difficult conditions in China.
Paul Dunne is dealing well with difficult conditions in China.
Image: Peter Byrne

PAUL DUNNE HAS continued his excellent run of form with a two-under first round at a storm-interrupted Shenzhen International in China.

The Greystones golfer claimed the first top-five finish of his professional career last weekend when losing out to Italy’s Edoardo Molinari in a play-off at the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco.

Dunne recovered well from a double bogey at the par-five fifth; the 24-year-old picking up five birdies and eight pars on his way back to the clubhouse to sign for a 70.

That round puts Dunne well in the mix in a tie for 18th, four shots behind early pace-setter Bubba Watson, who leads on his own on six-under.

Dunne pocketed the biggest pay cheque of his career last weekend with his second-place finish earning him €277,770 and all-but securing his European Tour card for next season.

Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson clinched an early lead in Shenzhen today by shooting an eagle and five birdies before storms suspended play in the afternoon.

“All in all a great day and a good start,” Watson told the European Tour website.

“I just made putts today. Most of my swings and most of my shots were really good and there were no bad swings in there so it just made the score better.”

The 38-year-old holds a one-shot lead over five players — South African duo Haydn Porteous and Dean Burmester, Germany’s Max Kieffer, Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee and France’s Grégory Bourdy.

Play was halted for the night shortly before 10AM Irish time, meaning 56 players will complete their first round early tomorrow morning before the second round begins for everybody.

You can view the full leaderboard here.

Meanwhile, Graeme McDowell and Seamus Power are in action at the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio this week, and both players are still in the early stages of their opening rounds. You can keep up to date with their progress here.

– with reporting from © AFP 2017 

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