Dunne Happy With 71 As Harrington Admits Revamped Wentworth Still Does Not Suit His Game

Wentworth, England …

Paul Dunne was among some 20 players who managed to break par early on the opening day of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Dunne ended his round near 1pm with a one-under par 71 to be trailing the leading South African duo of Darren Fichardt and Deam Bermister who posted six-under par 66s on the famed West Course in leafy Surrey.

England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick, who competed alongside Dunne, birdied three of his opening four holes in a five-under par 67 while the third member of the group, four-time Major winning Ernie Els struggled with a 75 and on the golf course he redesigned.

Dunne’s round was a mix of three birdies at the fourth, 11th and 12th holes while he dropped shots on the third and final holes after going for the par-5 18th in two only to see his second fall short into the water hazard guarding the green.

“It was a pity at the last as I played the difficult holes well and while I missed a couple of chances coming in, I managed to scrape it around with a 71,” he said.

“The last was a strange one as I thought I had enough club to carry the trouble but it didn’t but then anytime you shoot under par around Wentworth is good.

“I would have preferred for my score to be a little better but it is what it is”.

Though Dunne needed little reminding of his success on England golf courses having captured last year’s British Masters title and only just last fortnight he teamed with good friend, Gavin Moynihan to win the GolfSixes event at St. Albans.

Then we still recall he led the way to success in two Open Championship qualifiers on the Woburn course located just to the north of London.

“Wentworth is a lot more difficult as it requires a lot of attention from start to finish, and you have to drive the ball really well while the greens, and with the new sub-air system, are always firm,” he said.

“The course just tests all parts of your game.

“I am happy with the way I hit the ball but then I also didn’t putt particularly that well today while I left of lot of chances out there.

“Hopefully, this 71 will be my worst score of the week.”

Padraig Harrington, who was out in the group immediately ahead of Dunne, signed for a disappointing six-over par 78 that included three birdies, at the 11th, 16th and final holes, while he also posted five bogeys and two double bogeys.

In fact, Harrington made the turn in 41 and came hole in 37 on a golf course, and despite further changes, that clearly stil does not suit his game.

“I just didn’t hit it very well off the tee and I actually chipped-out four times today from the trees and I don’t think I have ever had a round in my life when I’ve had to chip-out that many times,” he said.

“It is a tight enough golf course at any time but you do have to drive it well around here as that is the big key and I didn’t.

“It’s a lovely golf course now after the recent changes but you cannot second guess out there except that the bunkers are a bit hazardous (smiling) and some people like that.

“But outside of that the golf course is superb though it’s not one that suits me.”

Both Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry were out in the afternoon half of the Wentworth draw.

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