Late birdie blitz leaves Dunne three back in Denmark

Paul Dunne finished with a birdie blitz carding four in his last five holes on day one of the Made in Denmark Open.

Paul Dunne holing out for birdie. – Image by Golffile.ie
 
Dunne had carded three birdies and three drop shots to sit on level par through twelve holes in Denmark but the Greystones man reeled off four consecutive gains from the 14th – 17th  to sit just three shots off the lead after day one at Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort.
 
It was a tough opening round for Michael Hoey who carded a four over par 75 with Gary Hurley a further two shots back after returning a disappointing 77 to sit in 148th place.
 
There is a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard with afternoon starters Steve Webster and Matt Wallace joining early clubhouse leader Wade Ormsby at the summit.
Australian Ormsby finished his round one stroke clear of the chasing pack after carding an eagle, six birdies and a single bogey to get to seven under par.
But he was caught in the afternoon as Webster fired seven birdies in a flawless 64, while fellow Englishman Wallace mixed nine birdies with two bogeys in his opening round.
It could have been a different story for talented rookie Wallace, who held a one-stroke lead as he stood at the 18th tee before dropping a shot at the last to fall into a tie for the lead.
 
Oscar Lengden, Robert Karlsson and Benjamin Hebert were another shot back in a tie for fourth.
A birdie blitz on the front nine saw Open de Portugal at Morgado Golf Resort champion Matt Wallace climb up the leaderboard on Thursday afternoon.
 
The Englishman enjoyed playing in front of the large crowds in Denmark.
He said: “I loved it out there today – especially when I made a birdie on 16 because the crowds there are awesome. They have been amazing all week and are so much fun to play in front of.
 
Beginning his round at the tenth tee, Steve Webster followed up a birdie at the 11th with further gains at the 14th and 15th.
 
And after picking up two more shots at the first and third, Webster took advantage of the par-five seventh to get to six under.
 
The 42 year old missed the opportunity to catch Ormsby when he failed to convert his 12-foot birdie putt at the eighth but he made amends at the next, rolling in from four feet to grab a share of the lead.
“It feels great to see my name at the top of the leaderboard. I actually almost didn’t come here because my nan had a really bad fall last Sunday and we thought she had fractured her skull.” Said Webster
 
“Thankfully it wasn’t that bad but she did fracture her shoulder. I spoke to my dad but he persuaded me to come here and play and thankfully she is making a recovery but my thoughts are still with her.”
 
Also starting at the tenth, Ormsby picked up shots at the 11th, 13th, 15th and 16th to get to four under par on Thursday morning.
He carded his first bogey of the day at the 18th but bounced back with consecutive birdies at the second and third before firing an eagle at the next to reach the summit.
 
Ormsby, who finished in a tie for fifth at last week’s Fiji International, then safely parred his final five holes.
He said: “It went pretty well to be honest.
 
“It wasn’t terribly easy out there. The wind was getting around a bit.
“I just got it going early, got to four under and then got a little bit of momentum through the start of my second nine and all of a sudden I was seven under.”
South African Zander Lombard and Italy’s Edoardo Molinari both made aces at the 86-yard 16th. Molinari’s was the 998th in European Tour history.
 
Meanwhile local favourite Thomas Bjørn, playing in his 500th European Tour event this week, began with a 73. His fellow competitors were asked to describe the Great Dane in one word…..