Dunne tops star-studded leaderboard in Turkey

Tournament: Turkish Airlines Open
Rolex Series: Sixth Rolex Series tournament of 2018
Race to Dubai: Tournament 45 of 47 events
Venue: Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort, Antalya, Turkey
Prize fund: US$7,000,000
Hashtag: #TurkishAirlinesOpen #Rolex Series

Round One report

Paul Dunne carded a seven under par round of 64 to take the first round lead at the Turkish Airlines Open, with World Number Two Justin Rose, three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington and Danish Ryder Cup player Thorbjørn Olesen all one shot back in the sixth Rolex Series event of the season.

The 25 year old Irishman opened with a birdie at the 11th – his first hole – and picked up six more in a flawless round as he chases a second European Tour title, to add to his British Masters triumph in 2017.

Rose, meanwhile, would return to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking with a successful title defence at Regnum Carya Resort, and the Englishman was certainly in winning form as he holed out with his approach at the par-four fourth hole for an eagle two on the way to a bogey-free 65.

He was joined on six under par by Harrington and Olesen, who won at this venue in 2016. Former World Number One Lee Westwood and two-time Major Champion Martin Kaymer were among the group of seven players another shot back on five under.

Player quotes:

Paul Dunne: “I think the biggest thing I did out there was on the three or four difficult tee shots, I hit really good tee shots, and apart from that, the ones I leaked a little bit were on holes you could get away with it and you could make birdie still from the rough.

“That’s what I was pleased with, the holes I needed to hit a good shot on, I stepped up and hit a really straight one. I left a few putts short out there but I think we can always say that. A few short in the middle but I’ll take it.

“To be honest, I just haven’t been hitting the ball very well. My putting is okay. Kind of drove it the same. Lost my iron play a little bit. Stopped giving myself chances, medium to short irons. Just scrambled for par for three months really. Nice to see a bit of form, post a good score and get a bogey-free round on the card.”

Padraig Harrington: “I’ve been in decent form now from mid-summer onwards. I’m a bit disappointed with some erratic putting over the past couple weeks, which had not been as bad early in the year. I’ve certainly got my head in the game and I’m working on the right things.

“I need to be out on the course and playing and hitting the shots with that sort of — with a card in your hand, and I see some good things out there, and you know, hopefully more this week.

“I’ve been hitting the same clubs off those short par fours this year. I don’t recall being as bullish this year strangely enough, but it worked well today. I was very aggressive on those holes and left myself pretty short irons into it. They weren’t necessarily the ones I made the birdies on all the same but I certainly had opportunities on those holes.”

Thorbjørn Olesen: “I hit some good shots and made some good birdies. But it was just key not to make bogeys today. The course is very scorable when there’s no wind and the greens are pure. It was nice to have a clean card today.

“I think I feel comfortable on the golf course. I know I’ve hit a lot of good shots on this golf course and I can sort of take that with me. Managed to hit a few today, but also a few bad ones. It was just key to keep getting up-and-down.

“Justin (Rose) is one of the best players in the world by far, and Tommy (Fleetwood) is also playing incredible. We became pretty good friends at The Ryder Cup, so it was a fun group. There was definitely a lot of good golf shots.”

Justin Rose: “I think I probably drove it better last year. I didn’t drive it particularly well today but my iron play was good. I holed out on number four, which got things going and I made a birdie off the back of that to get to three under through five. That was a nice stroke of fortune I guess and really started the day nicely.

“Today, I never had to press anything in my round. Had a little frustrating period around 11, 12, 13, 14, where I had chances that slipped by. I knew I was getting frustrated at that point in the round and tried to see if I could grab a couple birdies coming in which I did and nice to sign off with a three at the last.

“The golf course isn’t particularly easy. If you hit some good tee shots, you can have some wedges in your hand. But the weather is what’s making it scoreable. It’s just absolutely perfect golfing conditions.”

Scores:

64 P Dunne (Irl) ,
65 T Olesen (Den) , J Rose (Eng) , P Harrington (Irl) ,
66 L Westwood (Eng) , S Horsfield (Eng) , K Aphibarnrat (Tha) , T Detry (Bel) , H Li (Chn) , M Kaymer (Ger) , A Wu (Chn) ,
67 J Scrivener (Aus) , J Suri (USA) , D Willett (Eng) , E Van Rooyen (RSA) , G Green (Mas) , C Paisley (Eng) , A Levy (Fra) , M Wallace (Eng) ,
68 A Pavan (Ita) , P Larrazábal (Esp) , S Lowry (Irl) , A Otaegui (Esp) , T Fleetwood (Eng) , T Pulkkanen (Fin) , D Fichardt (RSA) ,
69 A Quiros (Esp) , N Colsaerts (Bel) , R Fox (Nzl) , M Schwab (Aut) , T Lewis (Eng) ,
70 R Knox (Sco) , J Wang (Kor) , L Slattery (Eng) , G Coetzee (RSA) , M Kinhult (Swe) , S Gallacher (Sco) , W Ormsby (Aus) , L Bjerregaard (Den) , J Luiten (Ned) , S Sharma (Ind) , M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) , M Kieffer (Ger) ,
71 A Johnston (Eng) , N Elvira (Esp) , A Rai (Eng) , T Aiken (RSA) , O Fisher (Eng) , B Hebert (Fra) , S Kjeldsen (Den) ,
72 J Campillo (Esp) , A Chesters (Eng) , A Sullivan (Eng) , H Tanihara (Jpn) , J Lagergren (Swe) , J Dantorp (Swe) , T Immelman (RSA) , D Burmester (RSA) , R Fisher (Eng) ,
73 R Rock (Eng) , S Hend (Aus) , R Paratore (Ita) , T Bjørn (Den) , L Herbert (Aus) , M Pavon (Fra) , A Björk (Swe) ,
74 A Altuntas (Tur) , J Smith (Eng) , M Korhonen (Fin) , B Stone (RSA) , R Sterne (RSA) , L Acikalin (am) (Tur) ,
75 P Waring (Eng) , R McEvoy (Eng) , T Pieters (Bel) ,
77 J Guerrier (Fra) ,
78 M Southgate (Eng) , T Yamac (am) (Tur),