Paul Dunne battling to avoid another missed cut in Madrid
Gavin Moynihan and Michael Hoey also failed to fire on opening day of Spanish Open
Paul Dunne plays his second shot on the 15th during day one of the Open de Espana at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid. Photo: Luke Walker/Getty Images
Paul Dunne’s miserable form which has seen him miss eight cuts in his last 10 events looks set to continue at the Mutuactivos Open de Espana after the Greystones man opened with a 75 to sit at four over par and in a tie for 120th.
Dunne – who recently parted ways with long-time caddie Darren Reynolds and is now down to 106th in the Race to Dubai – managed just one birdie in the opening round at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid.
The 26-year-old finished second in this event last year at a different venue but his form has hit a major dip this season and if he misses the cut on Friday he is set to fall to 111th on the Race to Dubai – outside the top-110 cut-off for keeping his playing rights.
However, the placings of those keeping their cards should move a few spots down below 110 due to players in the top-110 who have different exemptions and therefore automatically keep their cards anyway.
For Gavin Moynihan and Michael Hoey it wasn’t much better on the opening day as Moynihan double bogeyed the last to sign for a three over par 74 while Hoey was the best of the trio with a 73.
At the top of the leaderboard, world number 909 Kristian Krogh Johannessen outshone a host of home favourites to claim a shock lead.
Johannessen, who has missed the cut 13 times in 17 events in his rookie season on the European Tour, carded an eagle and seven birdies in an opening eight-under-par 63 to lead by two shots from Adri Arnaus.
Defending champion Jon Rahm and Rafa Cabrera Bello, who made up the marquee all-Spanish group with Arnaus, were a shot further back on five under alongside Marcel Siem, Andrea Pavan, Dean Burmester and Jamie Donaldson.
Sergio Garcia, who won the KLM Open on his last start, lies six shots off the pace following a 69.
Johannessen started his round from the 10th and birdied the 13th and 14th before holing out for an eagle on the par-four 15th.
The 24-year-old Norwegian dropped his only shot of the day by three-putting the 16th but birdied the next and picked up four more shots in his last six holes.
“It was a good round,” Johannessen said. “I didn’t hit it perfectly but hit it in the right spots, even when I missed, and I holed some good putts.
“I’m out there having fun and playing smart. It’s a tricky course, but I’ve got a friend on the bag this week and we’re having fun out there.
“I just need to keep calm, play my own game and not get stressed out there. It’s a bit tricky, so if you get stressed you start easily making mistakes. I just need to keep cool and play my own game.”
Rahm, who can overtake Open champion Shane Lowry at the top of the Race to Dubai with a good performance in Madrid, carded six birdies and a solitary bogey in his 66.
“It was always a dream to win the Spanish Open and definitely a career goal of mine to be a multiple champion,” the world number five said.
“I’ve not been able to successfully defend a title. I’ve been close, but not there, so hopefully I can make it happen this week. It’s a challenge. Adri is playing good, if he keeps hitting it long and straight, he’ll have a chance.”
Collated first round scores in the European Tour Open de Espana, Club de Campo, Villa de Madrid, Madrid, Spain (British unless stated, par 71):
63 Kristian Krogh Johannessen (Nor)
65 Adri Arnaus (Spa)
66 Dean Burmester (Rsa), Jon Rahm (Spa), Andrea Pavan (Ita), Jamie Donaldson, Marcel Siem (Ger), Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa)
67 Sihwan Kim (Kor), Matthew Nixon, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel), Zander Lombard (Rsa), Samuel Del Val (Spa), Jason Scrivener (Aus), Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind), Adrian Otaegui (Spa), Jens Dantorp (Swe)
68 Steven Brown, Niklas Lemke (Swe), Ashun Wu (Chn), Matteo Manassero (Ita), Jack Singh Brar, Deyen Lawson (Aus), Jake McLeod (Aus), Chris Hanson, Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa), Eduardo De La Riva (Spa), Per Langfors (Swe), David Lipsky (USA)
69 Justin Harding (Rsa), Ross Fisher, Javier Colomo (Spa), Lee Slattery, Joachim B. Hansen (Den), David Drysdale, Sergio Garcia (Spa), Calum Hill, Justin Walters (Rsa), Mario Galiano Aguilar (Spa), Nino Bertasio (Ita), Edoardo Molinari (Ita)
70 Ricardo Gouveia (Por), Alejandro Larrazabal (Spa), Mikko Korhonen (Fin), Alfredo Garcia-Heredia (Spa), Jeff Winther (Den), Ryan Lumsden, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn), Yusaku Miyazato (Jpn), S.S.P Chawrasia (Ind), Anton Karlsson (Swe), Nick McCarthy, Rikard Karlberg (Swe), Raphael Jacquelin (Fra), James Morrison, David Cooke (USA), Brett Rumford (Aus), Tom Murray, Jeunghun Wang (Kor), Jose Luis Adarraga Gomez (Spa), Max Orrin, Pedro Oriol (Spa), Borja Virto (Spa), Bernd Ritthammer (Ger), Dimitrios Papadatos (Aus), Alexander Levy (Fra)
71 Ben Evans, Lasse Jensen (Den), Alexander Bjork (Swe), Filippo Bergamaschi (Ita), Daniel Gavins, Renato Paratore (Ita), Juan Salama (Spa), Ivan Cantero Gutierrez (Spa), Nicolai Hojgaard (Den), Johannes Veerman (USA), John Catlin (USA), Daniel Berna Manzanares (Spa), David Horsey, Antonio Hortal (Spa), Nick Cullen (Aus), Fabrizio Zanotti (Pry), Pedro Figueiredo (Por), Scott Gregory
72 Hugo Leon (Chi), Thomas Aiken (Rsa), Maximilian Kieffer (Ger), Nicolai Tinning (Den), Jin-ho Choi (Kor), Kim Koivu (Fin), Emilio Cuartero Blanco (Spa), Alvaro Quiros (Spa), Max Schmitt (Ger), Julian Suri (USA), Alejandro Canizares (Spa), Gregory Bourdy (Fra), Lorenzo Gagli (Ita), Louis De Jager (Rsa)
73 Scott Fernandez (Spa), David Borda (Spa), Grant Forrest, (a) Koen Kouwenaar (Ned), Thongchai Jaidee (Tha), Jose-Maria Olazabal (Spa), Adrien Saddier (Fra), Liam Johnston, Joel Girrbach (Swi), Nacho Elvira (Spa), Michael Hoey (NIrl), Ross McGowan, Marcus Fraser (Aus)
74 Haotong Li (Chn), Gavin Moynihan (Irl), Marc Warren, Kristoffer Reitan (Nor), Oliver Wilson, Clement Sordet (Fra), (a) Alejandro Del Rey (Spa), Jacobo Pastor Lopez (Spa)
75 David Howell, Paul Dunne (Irl), Charlie Saxon (USA), Jacques Kruyswijk (Rsa)
76 (a) Victor Pastor (Spa), Espen Kofstad (Nor), Jorge Campillo (Spa), Stuart Manley, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa), Romain Wattel (Fra), Andres Romero (Arg), Wade Ormsby (Aus), Austin Connelly (Can), Sean Crocker (USA)
77 Carlos Del Moral (Spa)
78 Nico Geyger (Chi), Alvaro Velasco (Spa)
79 Michael Campbell (Nzl), Jamie Abbott