Dunne makes flying start at Dunhill Links

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Paul Dunne picked up where he left off at Newcastle-upon-Tyne as he led the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship with Nicolas Colsaerts after the first round on Thursday. If he'd carded his five-under-par 67 on the Old Course back in 2015, Dunne would have won the Open Championship as an amateur.

"I've come into this event with a bit of form". "But I'm in a better place to deal with it now, I think".

The Carnoustie Golf Links course was generous to some, but Ryan Fox as the Kiwi drifted well off the pace on the second day of a European Tour event in Scotland. The eagle opportunity wasn't converted, though, leaving the four-time major victor having to settle for a 71.

Only a fearless man would take on Dunne for money right now.

Fleetwood holds a big lead in the Race to Dubai rankings despite playing in only one of the last seven tournaments on the European Tour. Despite dropping his first shot in 40 holes at the 17th, the effort was the best at St Andrews by a shot from four players, including defending champion Tyrrell Hatton.

"It felt good and my game still feels good, and I got onto the first tee still feeling confident with my swing and the win does take the pressure off you".

Despite that opening round, the two-time Ryder Cup victor couldn't quite carry his form into day two on the Carnoustie course. In the end, he tied for 30th, even missing out on the Silver Medal as it went to American Jordan Niebrugge.

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"It's a unusual feeling to think I've won the tournament, because when I look back, it doesn't feel like it was me that won". Hopefully I can do the same next year, I guess.

'I didn't play great coming in.

"It was tricky enough out there". "I have so many more good memories than bad", Dunne said.

Dunne is aiming to win his second straight professional tournament, following his success in the British Masters last week. "I feel like I can do the same again".

The 32-year-old had a poor start with a double-bogey at the third, but recovered to hit three successive birdies before picking up further shots at the eighth, 12th, 17th and 18th.

"Leading the Open was a good thing for me as it opened so many doors in terms of sponsors and invitations but then how many times are you going to lead The Open and St. Andrews with a round to go?" he said. "It's fun, but we still play a tournament in there somewhere".

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