Dunne’s opening effort included a hole in one on the 15th at Kingsbarns, one of the three fantastic venues hosting this week’s festival of links golf on The European Tour.
Beginning on the back nine, McDowell picked up gains at the third and sixth before finishing with a birdie at the par-five ninth, although admitted it was hard to stay calm after failing to make inroads earlier in the round.
“There’s a comfort level of playing on links courses and once you get out there it does not matter if you are an amateur or a pro”, the 22-year-old from Greystones said.
Just because the FedExCup Playoffs are in the books doesn’t mean there’s not still meaningful golf being played – or good money to be won! The money will take care of itself. No doubt he’ll be buoyed by that success in Akron but he hasn’t played anywhere since missing the cut at the USPGA the week after his win and I’m happy to swerve him. “It would be nice to get a payday at the end of the week, but we won’t find that out until Sunday evening”.
The pair are well off the pace being set by English co-leaders Jimmy Mullen and Anthony Wall.
“It’s been incredible”, said the 40-year-old, who posted a four under par 68 on the Old Course to trail Mullen, Dunne and Kristoffer Broberg by four. The former world number one is a player of class and another win is surely not far away.
“I kind of needed it”, the Irishman said of his ace.
Former victor Martin Kaymer will start as the favourite again having been in that position for his third consecutive tournament, the German having been beaten in a playoff at his last start in Italy.
Danny Willett (20/1) – Now that I’ve talked about three players who are longer shots, here are two favorites.
Dunne is joined on 10 under by Jamie Donaldson, Chris Stroud and Thorbjorn Olesen, who all played the low scoring Kingsbarns on day two.
“I’ve only played Kingsbarns once before, but I’ve played St. Andrews lots of times and played Carnoustie five times in a year in the British Amateur, so I know those well”.
Peter Lawrie was also at Kingsbarns and making the most of a 15th invitation this season recording six birdies in a five under par 67.
The two-time European Tour victor struggled to a one-over 73 during the opening day at Carnoustie, but flew up the leaderboard with a bogey-free round on St Andrews’ Old Course.