Paul Dunne will shoulder a number of ‘first’s’ teeing up in this week’s WGC – HSBC Champions event in Shanghai.
The reigning British Masters champion is making not only his debut in the event but also his maiden appearance in a WGC.
Dunne is the lone Irishman in the $US 9.75m event and the first occasion since the inaugural Shanghai tournament in 2005 that not one of Ireland’s ‘Big-Five’ in either Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke or Shane Lowry are competing.
Dunne arrived in the Chinese financial capital lying 12th on the Race to Dubai with earnings this season of a whopping €1,447,708.
The Greystones golfer has had a week’s break electing not to contest last weeks Andalucia Masters and will focus on the closing four events of the European Tour season starting in China tomorrow.
Reigning Irish Open winner Jon Rahm is out to bounce back from his home disappointment in joining Dunne making his maiden Shanghai showing.
However, Rahm’s pro debut on home soil last week on the Costa Del Sol was a flop in missing a second cut of the European Tour season.
“I didn’t have my best stuff last week, ” he said. “I was sad not to make the cut in my home country and my home event but I come here hopeful.
“I feel like every time I miss the cut I become stronger the next week so hopefully history repeats itself and I play good this week.
“The game feels good. Last week for me was a special week, a lot was going on, a lot more than I expected so that’s probably why maybe I didn’t perform my best, you never know, but the game feels good.”
And the feisty Spaniard makes no excuses for his on-course temperament as golf fans around the world have come to witness from the US-based Spaniard.
“When it comes to golf, I grew up playing against my dad and other kids,” he said.
“Whoever I was playing, no matter how bad or good the other person was, losing in my mind is not an option. It’s just, I don’t like it. I don’t enjoy it. I don’t like the feeling of it and I don’t focus on it.
“I focus on winning, I guess I’m just hard-wired. When I like doing something, I like doing it the best I can. I don’t think in failure. I try to look towards the success and that’s where I think it comes from, the competitiveness.”