Paul Dunne dazzled the crowed at Newcastle-upon-Tyne with a final-round 61. He held off a ferocious late charge by Rory McIlroy, who birdied five of his last seven holes in shooting a 63.
“It’s kind of a sense of relief to prove it to myself that I can get it done,” he said. “I think I’ve improved a lot mentally over the last year in these kind of situations. I feel like I’ve got a bit tougher mentally and I get excited to go out and look at the leaderboard, rather than trying to look at position.”
Dunne shot 20-under for the tournament and was 14-under for the last two days. He shot a front-nine 30 on Sunday, with three birdies and an eagle 3 on the par-5, 454-yard No. 6. He was 4-under for the tournament on No. 6 and No. 13, which he birdied all four days.
“I went out and really tried to win the tournament rather than have someone hand it to me. That was the focus. Once I was in front, just keep pushing, make no bogeys and see how many birdies I can make. Absolutely thrilled,” Dunne said. “Obviously the money is great. It means I don’t have to worry about getting a job where I have to sit behind a desk. But after all this, you know, I really love playing golf, and I’ve been grateful.”
The win moved Dunne up to No. 12 in the Race to Dubai standings. Rory McIlroy is No. 6 in those standings after finishing second at 17-under. He shot 64-63 the last two days.
Fifty-four hole leader Robert Karlsson finished third at 16-under despite shooting a 4-under 66 on Sunday. A full19 players finished at least 10 strokes under par.