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Dublin: 9°C Sunday 16 May 2021

Here's why Ireland's Paul Dunne would miss out on €1.6 million if he wins the Open later

A longstanding rule means the amateur won’t win any prize money for his exploits.

Dunne has taken the Open by storm to make a real name for himself.
Dunne has taken the Open by storm to make a real name for himself.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

PAUL DUNNE, A 22-year-old from Greystones, is on the verge of creating golfing history this afternoon as he looks to become the first amateur to win the Open since 1930.

The former Blackrock College student is in a tie for the lead on twelve-under par with just one round remaining at St Andrews and will begin his pursuit of the coveted Claret Jug at 2.30pm.

The Open is arguably the most prestigious tournament in the sport and, regardless of what happens over the next 18 holes, this has been a life-changing week for Dunne.

But, he’s set to miss out on a huge windfall.

Rules set out by the R&A – golf’s governing body – means Dunne, along with the other two amateurs remaining in the field, are ineligible to claim a share of the prize money.

The winner will collect a cool €1.6 million. Should Dunne hold off a chasing pack containing some of the biggest names in the game, that money would be split among the professionals.

Instead, Dunne would go home with the Silver Medal (awarded to the leading amateur) and a ‘memento’ for his win.

It’s not an issue which arises regularly. Johnny Goodman was the last player to win a major as an amateur while Bobby Jones was the last one to triumph at the Open in 1930.

Dunne can, however, profit from sponsorship endorsements. He has been kitted out by Under Armour this week, although it’s unknown whether he’s actually got any sort of deal with the American sports clothing company.

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Britain Open Golf Dunne with his caddy, who is also from Greystones. Source: Jon Super

Either way, it’s set to be a hugely profitable week for a golfer, who just four days ago, was barely known.

And he’s not the only one set to profit if he can finish top of the leaderboard.

A couple of opportune punters will be following his progress closer than anyone after putting on a €10 bet earlier in the week.

Bookmakers Paddy Power have told The42 that a couple of bets were placed on Dunne in one of their South Dublin shops when he was priced at 750/1.

Fast forward 54 holes and the Irishman is currently priced at 20/1 to the win the Open.

“It’s only the last  24 hours that we’ve seen money for Dunne, he was a massive winner in our book yesterday afternoon, but that number has already been cut in half and we expect he’ll continue to be popular up until tee time,” a Paddy Power spokesperson said.

“As always, the week started with patriotic punters lumping on Shane Lowry, while Rickie Fowler was massively popular following his victory at the Scottish Open.

“Now with a round to go and the leader board so bunched it looks  wide open… we’re seeing a decent spread of money on the leading contenders but it looks like Spieth (just) is the one punters fancy most.”

Whatever happens, Paul Dunne will be the toast of Greystones after his heroics on the Old Course this week.

You can follow all the action as it happens with The42′s liveblog from 12pm.

‘The sporting story of a lifetime’ – Paul Dunne is grabbing headlines around the world

An unmissable day of golf awaits and here’s your ticket for an afternoon on the couch

About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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