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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 20 October, 2019
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'The face of the wedge was shaking and I remember thinking I was going to miss the ball'

Paul Dunne looks back on a memorable week at St Andrews.

Dunne doesn't put his poor performance down to nerves.
Dunne doesn't put his poor performance down to nerves.
Image: Jon Super

AFTER TAKING STOCK of his remarkable performance at the Open, Paul Dunne admits he’s got mixed feelings about his week at St Andrews.

The 22-year-old from Greystones produced three consecutive flawless rounds on the Old Course to sit atop of the leaderboard heading into the final round but a six-over par 78 saw him drop down the field.

Dunne eventually finished in a tie for 30th and revealed he just never got going on Monday to leave a bittersweet taste afterwards.

Speaking on 2FM’s Game On, the Irish amateur said he expected to play well but never thought he’d find himself playing in the final group.

“I’ve kind of mixed emotions really. I wasn’t expecting to be going out in the final group, or the final few groups even on the last day,” he said.

“So, disappointed with the result on the last day, but overall, pretty satisfied with the week and the exposure it got me.”

His hopes of becoming the first amateur since Bobby Jones in 1930 to win the Open slowly disappeared in the unrelenting rain and Dunne revealed he’d been hitting the ball as well as ever before the final round.

“I was nervous but I wasn’t anymore nervous than the previous three rounds,” he continued.

“I was just as nervous going out on the first few days but I got off to a settled start, got under par early and saw a lot of good shots coming that I’d seen on the range. It let me settle down and just play my game.

Golf - The Open Championship 2015 - Day Four - St Andrews Dunne says he'll take great confidence from being able to compete with the best players. Source: Owen Humphreys

“But the last round I just saw myself hit a couple of shots I’d never seen myself hit, either ever or in a long time, and that kind of rattled me and never let me settle into the round.

“That was the big difference between the fourth round and the first three.

“The range session I had before the last round was better than any other day I’d been there. I was quite excited to get going.”

However, Dunne bogeyed the first and second and a poor wedge shot on the opening hole ultimately set the tone for a mistake-ridden round.

“In the third round I could see the face of the wedge shaking as I was standing over it and remember thinking, god I’m going to miss this ball but I hit it into about two feet and I had the exact same feeling with the wedge shot in the fourth round. I just hit a terrible shot.

“I’m convinced if I had have done what I did in the third round and make a three, I would have played much better.”

His exploits over the extended weekend at St Andrews saw Dunne climb 719 places to 896th in the latest world rankings.

He reaffirmed his intention to stay amateur in order to push for selection for September’s Walker Cup.

You can listen to the full interview below:


Source: RTÉ2fm/SoundCloud

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Ryan Bailey

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