Dunne has set the clubhouse lead. Getty Images
turkish delight

Faultless Dunne surges into early lead in Turkey, Harrington one behind

The Irish duo are leading the way in Antalya.

PAUL DUNNE PRODUCED a faultless opening round at the Turkish Airlines Open to take the early clubhouse lead in Antalya, with Pádraig Harrington one shot behind in second.

Dunne made seven birdies on a low-scoring opening day to set the clubhouse lead on Thursday afternoon, while Harrington opened his week with a six-under par 65.

25-year-old Dunne reeled off five birdies during a stunning front nine after starting on the 10th and picked up two further shots after the turn, eventually carding a blemish-free 64.

The Greystones golfer — currently 54th in the Race to Dubai standings — is seeking his first win of the season after finishing second at the Open de Espana in March, while he also recorded a top-10 finish at the China Open.

“My iron play was pretty good today and that was the biggest thing I did out there well,” he said.

The overall game is also a lot better as I had a six-week competitive stretch a while ago and it was as bad as I have had but then a few good weeks here and it turns out to be a great year.

“I played in the DP World last year for the first time and I would love to be back there in a few weeks while a win would tick off a good few of those boxes.” 

Among those chasing Dunne is fellow Irishman Harrington, who is just one stroke adrift as he continues his strong end-of-season form.

The three-time Major winner has had brushes with glory at the Czech Masters and KLM Open in recent weeks, while he also finished seventh at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. 

Harrington, too, had seven birdies at the Regnum Carya Golf and Spa Resort but a bogey on the seventh means he had to settle for a 65 alongside Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen and defending champion Justin Rose. 

There is a large group at four-under par including Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer, while Shane Lowry signed for an opening-round 68 to sit on three-under.

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