In-form Dunne shares lead at Dunhill Links
|Alfred Dunhill Links Championship|
|-5 P Dunne (Ire), N Colsaerts (Bel); -4 R Fox (NZ), T Hatton (Eng), S Lowry (Ire), O Fisher (Eng), J Stalter (Fra)|
|Selected others:-3 B Evans (Eng), D Drysdale (Sco), G McDowell (NI), M Wallace (Eng); -2 M Warren (Sco), S Jamieson (Sco), L Donald (Eng), J Donaldson (Wal), B Dredge (Wal), T Fleetwood (Eng); +1 R McIlroy (NI)|
Ireland’s Paul Dunne continued his fine form by taking a share of the lead after day one of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.
Dunne, who won his maiden European Tour title at the British Masters on Sunday, shot a five-under-par 67 at St Andrews.
Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts joins Dunne in the lead after a 67 at Kingsbarns in the three-course event.
English pair Tyrrell Hatton and Oliver Fisher, and Ireland’s Shane Lowry, are in a group of five a shot off the lead.
Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell and Scot David Drysdale are part of a 10-man group on three under, alongside English pair Ben Evans and Matt Wallace.
Drysdale and Evans both carded 69s at Carnoustie, where no other player bettered their opening scores.
Home hopefuls Marc Warren and Scott Jamieson, plus Welsh duo Jamie Donaldson and Bradley Dredge, finished their opening rounds on two under.
Rory McIlroy, playing in his final tournament of the year, shot a one-over 73 as he aims to avoid a season without a win for the first time since 2008.
Dunne, 24, eagled the par-four ninth and carded four birdies in windy conditions on the Old Course.
“It felt a lot different teeing up as a European Tour winner, as Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday just flew by this week,” he said.
“It felt good and my game still feels good. I got onto the first tee still feeling confident with my swing and the win does take the pressure off you.”
McIlroy, also playing at St Andrews, started with a birdie on the par-four first but then double-bogeyed the second.
Three more birdies were wiped out by three bogeys as the world number six, who has been plagued by a rib injury this year, finished the day six shots behind the leaders.
The Northern Irishman, 28, claimed his first professional victory at the Dubai Desert Classic in 2009 and has since won every season on either the European, PGA, PGA of Australasia or Asian Tour, including claiming four majors.
The run will end if he does not win this week.