Paul Dunne to take Open heights in his stride

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Irish amateur Paul Dunne hopes to take the increasing attention in his stride after making the cut at the Open Championship for the first time.

The 22-year-old from Greystones ensured involvement over the weekend at St Andrews by matching his first-round 69 on the second day to move to six under par.

Dunne, who came through final qualifying at Woburn for a second year in succession, said: “It’ll be a new experience, I’m not 100 per cent sure how I’ll handle it.

“Hopefully I’ll just take it like second nature – but you never know. Obviously the forecast is for high winds tomorrow, so the course is going to play really tough.”

Dunne’s only blemish came when he missed a short par putt on the 16th but he made amends by making a birdie on the last.

He will now go into the final two days’ play with a strong chance of winning the Silver Medal for the leading amateur.

Dunne said: “Obviously that would be brilliant. It would be nice to get the Silver Medal in my last year as an amateur. It would be something I would remember forever.

“But there’s a lot of golf and a lot of bad weather to play in before that. I’m not going to think about it, I’m just going to see what the weather is like when I arrive here, put a new number in my head and go about business tomorrow.”

Asked what numbers he had targeted from the first two days, Dunne said he had been hoping for a 68 and then, after seeing Friday’s forecast, a 72.

He said: “I thought if I could just get anything in under par it would be a really good score, so I was delighted to shoot 69.”