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Dunne deal for Paul at Q School

​​Ireland’s Paul Dunne signed off on a remarkable season by clinching his European Tour card for 2016.

  • 19 November 2015
​Dunne finished comfortably inside the top 25 on the final day of the Tour’s Qualifying School to secure his playing rights on the main tour next seaason. Already assured of a place on the Challenge Tour by virtue of making the cut, Dunne achieved the ultimate goal with rounds of 69 and 72 at the Final Stage of Q-School.

The Greystones star was the only Irish player to emerge with a full card at the PGA Catalunya resort. Damian McGrane dropped out of the top 25 after a final round 78 while Simon Thornton (71) and Kevin Phelan (72) failed to produce the low scores required to reach the qualifying mark of seven under.

Having taken the golfing world by storm at the Open Championship last July, where he held the lead after 54 holes at St Andrews, Dunne had to win his Tour ticket the hard way as he came through all three stages of Q School. In total, he played 14 rounds and 258 holes as well as surviving a six-hole playoff at the end of stage two.

It was during the fourth round at Lumine that Dunne really had to dig deep to make it through the second stage. He had to card a four-under 67 just to make into a playoff and then played six extra holes before securing the final qualifying spot.

The final stage was straightforward by comparison and he was well on his way after a four-under 68 in the fourth round had him well clear of the cut line. A 69 in the penultimate round left him safely inside the top 25 and although he had a couple of nervous moments on the last day – a double bogey at the par-three fifth was an early setback – he needed nothing more than a bogey on the final hole to post a level-par 72. His stroke average for the 14 rounds of Q School was an impressive 69.29.

At 10 under, Dunne finished in a share of 13th spot, three shots inside the qualifying mark. Spain’s Adrian Otaegui, American Daniel Im and South African Ulrich Van den Berg topped the final leaderboard on 18 under.

Dunne is the only player from the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team to make it through this year’s Q School and has already won more than €90,000 in prize money from three starts on the European Tour since his move into the professional ranks last September.

Picture: Irish duo Paul Dunne (left) and Kevin Phelan, who had contrasting fortunes at this year's European Tour Qualifying School - image courtesy of Golffile