Paul Dunne shot a 64 on Thursday and will take a one-shot lead into the second round of the Turkish Airlines Open at Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort.
The Irishman finished his first day in Turkey with a clean card comprised of 11 pars and seven birdies, highlighted by four gains in a six-hole stretch (Nos. 10-15) en route to the day’s low round.
Dunne, who has struggled for much of the 2018 season, was thrilled to see his form return, and his name atop the leaderboard – at least for a day.
“I just haven’t been hitting the ball very well,” said Dunne. “My putting is okay, I kind of drove it the same but lost my iron play a little bit. I just scrambled for par for three months, really.
“It’s nice to see a bit of form, post a good score and get a bogey-free round on the card. The holes I needed to hit a good shot on, I stepped up and hit a really straight one.”
Defending champion Justin Rose and 2016 winner Thorbjorn Olesen were one-shot back at 6 under 65, alongside three-time major champion Padraig Harrington.
A group of seven players were two shots off the lead at T5, headlined by former world No. 1s Martin Kaymer of Germany and England’s Lee Westwood.
Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Belgian Thomas Detry, England’s Sam Horsfield and Chinese pair Li Haotong and Wu Ashun were also in the group at 5 under.
2018 Turkish Airlines Open
First Round: The Top 5
1. Paul Dunne -7
2. Justin Rose -6
2. Thorbjorn Olesen -6
2. Padraig Harrington -6
5. Martin Kaymer -5
5. Lee Westwood -5
5. Li Haotong -5
5. Kiradech Aphibarnrat -5
5. Sam Horsfield -5
5. Thomas Detry -5
5. Wu Ashun -5
By the Numbers
Low Round: Paul Dunne (64)
High Round: Matthew Southgate (78)
Bogey-Free Rounds: Paul Dunne (64), Thorbjorn Olesen (66), Justin Rose (66), Thomas Detry (67), Lee Westwood (67), Jason Scrivener (67), Julian Suri (67), Erik Van Rooyen (67), Matt Wallace (67), Adrian Otaugui (68), Nicolas Colsaerts (69)