Steely-eyed Dunne makes move up Perth leaderboard

Bernie McGuire
Bernie McGuire

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 Paul Dunne / Image from Getty Images

Although still not quite fully firing, Paul Dunne catapulted himself back into contention with a much-improved four-under par 68 on day two of the ISPS Handa World Super 6 in Perth.

The Greystones professional is starting to show glimpses of the form that saw him claim his maiden Tour victory at the British Masters and his five birdie, one bogey showing today has revived his hopes this week of adding to that crown.

Dunne moved 52 places up the leaderboard into a tie for 24th on three-under par for the effort and now has the leaders within five shots at the halfway point at Lake Kerrinyup Golf Club.

As for Michael Hoey, he did no damage on day two but the man from Ballymoney made no progress either, stuck in the mud after an even-par 72.

With Chris Selfridge carrying his bag, the Northern Irishman, who turned 40 on Wednesday, signed for an uneventful one birdie, one bogey and 16 pars.

Unfortunately, the news wasn’t good for Mount Juliet’s Gavin Moynihan who, despite carding a one-under par 71 on Friday, fell two shots short of the weekend cut of minus-one.

For those that remain, the likes of Dunne and Hoey, things now start to get interesting. Following round three, the field size will be cut to 24 players – with a sudden-death play-off taking place if required to reach that number.

The fourth and final round will see players battle head-to-head in a six-hole match play knockout format. The players will eventually be whittled down to the final two before the winner is crowned in the final.

With Moynihan now out, his former partner Dunne, who joined him in capturing the Golf Sixes back at Centurion club last May, will be itching to force his way into Sunday’s Matchplay format given his pedigree in matchplay golf throughout his amateur career. Watch this space!

A star-studded leaderboard sees Thomas Pieters as one of four atop it having mastered the windy afternoon conditions to fire a second round 66, joining Ryan Fox, Australia’s Matthew Griffin and Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand at eight-under par.

Belgian Pieters, who secured the ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf alongside countryman Thomas Detry on his last visit to Australia, has some match play pedigree having claimed four points on his Ryder Cup debut in 2016.

Fox missed out on the matchplay stages after losing in a play-off at Lake Karrinyup in 2017 and finished a shot out of the play-off 12 months ago, but he’s adamant he won’t be taking his foot off the pedal in pursuit of glory this time around.

“I played really nice yesterday in some tough conditions and today was a little bit scrappy, but we had some pretty nice conditions this morning, greens were perfect,” said Fox. “No wind around here makes the course pretty scorable, so it was nice to take advantage of that and be in a good place for tomorrow.

“The last couple years I’ve eyed that top 24 from sort of around the morning and it hasn’t worked out very well for me. I’ll try to aim a little higher this year and see what happens. It looks like it might blow tomorrow afternoon as well, so might be a case of just trying to hang on.

“Certainly no taking the foot off the pedal, just got to try to make some birdies and try to finish as high as possible. There is a little bit of bonus for finishing in that top eight, getting the first round off, and I’ll certainly be aiming for that.”

Englishman Richard McEvoy, Scot Robert Macintyre and Australian Matt Jager are one shot off the lead at seven under par, with Spain’s Adrian Otaegui and Frenchman Clément Sordet amongst a group of five players at six-under par.

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