Pro Golf Weekly

Dunne, Warren Share Early Lead at Open de Espana

Paul Dunne and Marc Warren share the opening-round lead at the Open de Espana after posting matching 6-under 66s on day one at Centro Nacional de Golf.

Credit: Getty Images/Quality Sports

Warren made birdie on five of his last seven holes to reach the clubhouse first with a low-round 66. Dunne joined the Scot by carding an eagle on the final hole.

Going out, Warren offset a lone bogey with two birdies to turn in 35, and then caught fire on the home nine, carding gains on Nos. 12, 13, 16, 17, and 18 to grab the lead.

“It was good,” said Warren. “Finished with three birdies in a row so it kind of makes it look a little bit better.

“Overall, it was really solid tee to green. I putted really well today – pace was really good. The putts that missed I didn’t leave myself much to do and the good putts always looked like they had a chance of going in.

“You know when you’re out that early and it’s cold and windy it’s always going to be a tough start so it’s important to be patient. I’m really delighted with that start.”

Dunne also turned in 35, after sandwiching two birdies between a bogey on the front, and following three more birdies on Nos. 11, 13, and 16, the Irishman was at 4 under. A final-hole eagle gave the 25-year old Dublin native the co-marquee.

“I’m pretty pleased,” said Dunne. “I find the greens quite tricky to read out there, especially on the front nine, so it was nice to get a couple of putts go in on the back nine and give myself a climb up the leaderboard.

“Our front nine was quite windy and that just makes it trickier to putt than anything else. This golf course with the rough the way it is – kind of patchy – you can get away with some bad shots but it’s just hard to make the five, six-footers for par if you get out of position.

“Then on the back nine the wind died a little bit but the rain came in so it was a tale of two halves. I’d rather the little bit of rain and calm conditions because it makes the greens a little more puttable for me.”

Credit: Getty Images/Ross Kinnaird

The lead duo are one clear of a group of 11 players, headlined by native sons Jon Rahm, the world No. 4, and amateur Victor Pastor.

The Spaniards sit T3 at 5-under 67, alongside English trio Aaron Rai, Callum Shinkwin and Jonathan Thomson, Swedish pair Alexander Björk and Henric Sturehed, Frenchman Julien Guerrier, Australian Jason Norris, Austrian Matthias Schwab and South African Erik van Rooyen.

Defending champion Andrew Johnston was one further back at 4-under par. Some 40 players were within three shots of the lead.

TOP 10

1 Paul Dunne -6
1 Marc Warren -6
3 Callum Shinkwin -5
3 Henric Sturehed -5
3 Alexander Bjork -5
3 Aaron Rai -5
3 Jason Norris -5
3 Jon Rahm -5
3 Jonathan Thomson -5
3 Erik van Rooyen -5
3 Julien Guerrier -5
3 Matthias Schwab -5
3 Victor Pastor (a) -5


Dunne ropes his second shot on the 18th hole to six-feet, setting up a final-hole eagle.

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“You know when you’re out that early and it’s cold and windy it’s always going to be a tough start so it’s important to be patient. I’m really delighted with that start.”
– Marc Warren

Credit: Getty Images, European Tour

Jeff Smith

Jeff is a writer and content producer for Pro Golf Weekly. He is working on a book, documenting the 2017 and 2018 seasons on the major golf tours.

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