European Tour

Former British Open sensation leads in Rabat

2017-04-15 21:23
Paul Dunne

Rabat - Ireland's Paul Dunne, who famously led the British Open heading into the final round in 2015 before his challenge unravelled, carved out a two-shot advantage at the Trophee Hassan II on Saturday.

The 24-year-old was still an amateur when he stormed to a share of top spot on the leaderboard at St Andrews two years ago, rubbing shoulders with Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen.

He eventually ended the tournament nine shots behind winner Zach Johnson but he showed glimpses of that form on Saturday with a third-round 69 at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam which kept him on course for a first career title.

Dunne, ranked a lowly 241 in the world, led by just one shot going on to the 18th tee after carding five birdies and a double bogey in his opening 17 holes, before he rolled in from 20 feet to pick up another shot and get to eight under par for the tournament.

"I've been playing well recently and I haven't played a tournament for four weeks with the break we had so I felt like it took me a while to get going with my swing this week," said Dunne, whose best finish this year was sixth at the Tshwane Open in South Africa.

"But today was a much easier round than the last couple of days. I didn't putt as well as I did in the last couple of days but I hit the ball a lot better.

"If I break 70 again I think it's going to be hard for someone to catch me so I'm just going to try and do that."

Italy's Renato Paratore is in second place going into Sunday's final round after carding a course-record 66.

France's Gregory Havret, the overnight leader, slipped to four shots off the pace after a 75.

Leaderboard:

211 - Paul Dunne 73 69 69

213 - Renato Paratore (ITA) 73 74 66

214 - Lasse Jensen (DEN) 75 69 70, Paul Waring 74 71 69, Pablo Larrazabal (ESP) 72 73 69

215 - Lucas Bjerregaard (DEN) 70 71 74, Gregory Bourdy (FRA) 71 71 73, Dylan Frittelli (RSA) 71 72 72, Gregory Havret (FRA) 70 70 75, Trevor Fisher (RSA) 71 70 74, Edoardo Molinari (ITA) 71 74 70

216 - Victor Dubuisson (FRA) 73 71 72, Ricardo Gonzalez (ARG) 74 71 71, Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 72 72 72, Chris Hanson 74 70 72, Carlos Pigem (ESP) 75 72 69

Read more on:    european tour  |  golf
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