Sunday 23 September 2018

nearly dunne

Young Irish amateur in position to make history

Jordan Spieth's bid for the third leg of an unprecedented calendar grand slam remained firmly on track after a breathless third round of the 144th Open Championship yesterday.

But the Masters and US Open champion could be denied a place in the record books by an even more remarkable performance after Irish amateur Paul Dunne claimed a share of the lead at St Andrews.

"I saw that I was tied for first on the 10th and I said to my caddie how cool is it to leave the Open on Sunday, even if it's a different type of Sunday," Dunne said.

"The golf ball still does what you ask it to do, it's just there are more people watching."

Days after being mistaken for Spieth by fans seeking autographs due to their identical clothing, Dunne carded a flawless 66 on the Old Course to finish 12 under par alongside playing partner Louis Oosthuizen - who won the 2010 Open at St Andrews - and Australian Jason Day.

Spieth also shot 66 to lie just a shot behind, with 2007 and 2008 champion Padraig Harrington a shot further back after a superb 65.

Nine players were tied for sixth on nine under, including another amateur in American Jordan Niebrugge, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott, along with England's Danny Willett, who led outright after 10 holes but drove out of bounds on the 14th.

Dunne is the first amateur since the legendary Bobby Jones to lead the Open after 54 holes, the American going on to lift the Claret Jug at St Andrews back in 1927.

Three years later, Jones became the last amateur winner of the Open to date at Royal Liverpool.

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