Apr 16th, 2017
Paul Dunne leads in Morocco
At the Trophee Hassan II
Words: John Dean Photography: Getty Images
Ireland's Paul Dunne, who led the Open heading into the final round in 2015 at St Andrews, has given himself a two–shot lead at the Trophee Hassan II on Saturday's moving day, and the chance for his maiden European Tour victory.
The 24–year-old was an amateur when he shared the top spot on the leaderboard at St Andrews two years ago, but he eventually ended the tournament nine shots behind winner Zach Johnson.
That experience clearly did him no harm, and a moving day round of 69 at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam has given him the opportunity to register a career first title.
Dunne posted five birdies and a double bogey in his opening 17 holes, but he rolled in a beauty from 20 feet to gain 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.
"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.
Meanwhile France's Gregory Havret, the overnight leader, slipped to four shots off the pace after a disappointing 75.