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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Sharvin & Dunne enjoy encouraging weeks as Catlin wins in Austria

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Cormac Sharvin and Paul Dunne enjoyed rock-solid weeks at the Austrian Open as the Irish pair look to ramp up their competition reps in the coming weeks on the European Tour.

Ardglass professional Sharvin shared 28th place, breaking par for the third time this week with a bogey-free one-under par round of 71 for a two-under tournament total.

Sharvin finished one stroke ahead of his former Walker Cup winning teammate Dunne with the Greystones golfer carding a 71 of his own for a one-under tally. It’s the first time Dunne has played all four rounds on Tour since last August and he’ll now hope his tie for 33rd will prove a springboard to much better days to come for the 2017 British Masters Champion.

“I’m going to play this run of events – maybe five tournaments in total and get back in the swing of things,” Dunne said earlier this week. “It’s been so long since I’ve played a run of events. I’ve only played a handful of tournaments over the past 18 months so to get back in the rhythm of playing every week is the next step.”

“The longer you stay away from competition the harder it is to get back into it,” he added. “It’s a funny old time for everyone. To be honest, I’ve no real goals or expectations at the minute. I suppose one is that I want to get back enjoying playing again. Two is that I want to get back feeling like I’m sharp enough to play day-in, day-out with a card in my hand and get some consistency back, and get used to feeling that pressure again.

“Outside of that, performance-wise, I’ve no goals or expectations, good or bad. I just want to finish this stretch of events feeling like I’m in a better place to deal with the rest of the season.”

John Catlin claimed his third victory in just 13 events at the Austrian Golf Open after the American triumphed in a dramatic five-hole play-off with Maximilian Kieffer, following a similarly thrilling final-day battle with the German in regulation play.

Catlin began the day two shots back from the lead and played in the penultimate group behind Kieffer and third round leaders Martin Kaymer and Alejandro Cañizares. The 30-year-old was at one point in the day four strokes behind Kieffer, who got off to a roaring start. A typically determined display from the Californian, however, yielded seven birdies for an impressive closing 65 and forced extra holes with Kieffer, who signed for a 66.

In a roller coaster play-off, Kieffer looked to have earned a shock victory when he sank a monster putt for birdie on the third extra hole, but Catlin was equal to the task and knocked in a tester for his two. It was a disappointing end for Kieffer, who found the water three times at the fifth attempt down the par three 18th at Diamond Country Club, handing victory to a delighted Catlin – who moved to 24th in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.

“It’s always nice to win. It’s tough to watch that happen – we’re out here giving it our all, he’s a very, very accomplished player. To have come out on top is something I’ll always cherish.

“There was about a three-foot wide gap and I landed it right in the middle of it,” said Catlin. “As soon as it landed I knew that had a chance to be pretty good – you never know how it’s going to bounce through that rough. For it to come out like that and to make that par is probably one in maybe a thousand, it’s nice to get it done.

“I want to take this chance to thank my coach, Noah Montgomery. It’s been a really long road – 2015, 16, were tough seasons for me. He stuck by me, kept believing in me and putting in the hours. Winning is never easy, it doesn’t matter what Tour you’re playing on. To have got this one is very special.

“I’d love to crack that Top 50 in the world and play in a Major Championship, I’ve never actually played in one. I think this gives me a good chance to play in the PGA Championship, that was my goal. Hopefully it’s good enough. To get in those events and have a chance to win a Major, that’s been my goal since I was a kid. It would be nice to have that opportunity.”

 

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