Paul Dunne looks poised for a big week after the Greystones golfer crucially put to bed a run of four missed cuts with a top-25 finish last time out at the Czech Masters.
The 26-year old has endured a frustrating campaign but having earned a top-5 finish at the Made in Denmark back in May, it was hoped that result would provide the springboard for a turnaround in fortunes. Instead, a barren spell followed with a quartet of cuts missed through June and July – including one at the Irish Open.
Dunne has been a standout model of consistency since making the leap to the pro ranks and although this season has been his first wobble, there’s still time to come through 2019 unscathed. With few miles on the clock over the summer, the Wicklow man should be raring to go and given he found successive 69’s over the weekend in Prague, it would be little surprise if he featured prominently this week as he looks to find form ahead of a busy period of the Race to Dubai run-in.
Dunne will have familiar faces for company as Gavin Moynihan and Michael Hoey also look to play themselves into form before it’s too late.
Mount Juliet pro Moynihan was unlucky not to build on a top-11 placing on his penultimate start at the Finnish Challenge when missing out by a single shot on the Czech Masters halfway cut mark, despite shooting two-under for 36-holes. The Dubliner’s not far away and he’ll know small margins define success in this game as much as anyone.
Given this week starts a run on Tour that includes The European Masters, The European Open and the KLM Open before McIlroy, Lowry and co head to Wentworth for the BMW PGA Championship, Moynihan will need and want to play well to make sure he features in the busiest spell of the season so far.
Michael Hoey is another in desperate need of a spark after a dismal run of results since May. The Ballymoney professional hasn’t made a cut since the Made in Denmark and is a cumulative +40 for seven events played since. One week could drastically change that outlook so let’s hope Scandinavia can inspire a Hoey revival.
The Irish contingent won’t have it all their own way this week – far from it – after Sweden’s top names all committed to the tournament. Ten-time European Tour winner Alex Noren will compete alongside his Ryder Cup winning teammate Henrik Stenson while Marcus Kinhult makes his debut at the event and England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick also features.
Thursday’s tee-times (Irish time)
07.00am – Gavin Moynihan
08.30am – Michael Hoey
12.20pm – Paul Dunne