Paul Dunne takes share of lead in Madrid after closing eagle
Marc Warren also cards 66; Gavin Moynihan’s good card ruined by nasty nine
Ireland’s Paul Dunne in action during the first round of the Open de Espana at Centro Nacional de Golf in Madrid. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images
A closing eagle on the par-five 18th helped Ireland’s Paul Dunne into a share of top spot after the first round of the Open de Espana in a cold and blustery Madrid on Thursday.
The 25-year-old from Greystones also carded five birdies and just a single dropped shot in a six-under 66. Scotland’s Marc Warren closed with three straight birdies to match Dunne’s back nine of 31 and also card a 66.
Dunne was one of the afternoon starters who battled against some tough conditions, including driving rain on the exposed Centro Nacional de Golf, in the north of the Spanish capital.
After trading in an opening birdie on the par-five first with a dropped shot at the second, Dunne would make it to the turn in one-under 35 after also picking off a birdie on the par-five fifth.
It was the on the back nine he started to move up the leaderboard , with birdies on the 11th, 13th and 16th before his eagle three on 18.
“For the first nine holes I was playing pretty nicely, [I] just wasn’t giving myself any chances close enough, or wasn’t taking advantage when I did,” said Dunne. “And then I hit a couple of shots just a little bit closer when I got wedges in my hand on the back nine.
“It’s always nice to finish with an eagle to top off the round. I thought the drive was borderline carrying so it was nice to see it get over and take advantage of it.”
Dunne also believes the heavy rain shower improved conditions on the greens for those teeing off later in the day.
“I felt like the bit of rain smoothed out the greens and made them easier to read – for me anyway – so I think that’s why I made a few on the back nine.”
Gavin Moynihan had made it to five under after just 10 holes , only for a quadruple-birdie nine on the par-five fifth hole to derail his first round.
The 23-year-old, who finished with a level-par 72, tweeted afterwards that the nine included “probably one of the best up and downs of my life”.
Meanwhile former RBC Heritage champion Graeme McDowell could only manage a two-over 73 in the opening round of this year’s tournament at Hilton Head in South Carolina, leaving him nine shots off early clubhouse leader Rory Sabbatini, who carded a seven-under 64.
(British and Irish unless stated, par 72, (a) denotes amateur)
66 Marc Warren, Paul Dunne
67 (a) Victor Pastor (Esp), Alexander Bjork (Swe), Callum Shinkwin, Julien Guerrier (Fra), Jonathan Thomson, Aaron Rai, Henric Sturehed (Swe), Matthias Schwab (Aut), Jason Norris (Aus), Jon Rahm (Esp) , Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa)
68 Andrew Johnston, Paul Waring, Sebastian Heisele (Ger), Brett Rumford (Aus), Thorbjorn Olesen (Den), Pedro Oriol (Esp) , Nacho Elvira (Esp) , Richard Sterne (Rsa), Trevor Fisher Jnr (Rsa)
69 Ricardo Gouveia (Por), Sihwan Kim (Kor), Soren Kjeldsen (Den), Matt Wallace, Maximilian Kieffer (Ger), Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez (Esp) , Matteo Manassero (Ita), Scott Jamieson, Jacques Kruyswijk (Rsa), Jeff Winther (Den), Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa), David Lipsky (USA), Yusaku Miyazato (Jpn), Adrian Otaegui (Esp) , Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra), Darren Fichardt (Rsa), Sam Horsfield, Nino Bertasio (Ita)
70 Steven Brown, Ashun Wu (Chn), Jorge Campillo (Esp) , Renato Paratore (Ita), Graeme Storm, Florian Fritsch (Ger), Jason Scrivener (Aus), Anthony Wall, Seung-su Han (USA), Robert Rock, Connor Syme, Julien Quesne (Fra), Charlie Ford, Ryan Fox (Nzl), Matthew Baldwin, Jin-ho Choi (Kor), Hideto Tanihara (Jpn), Alvaro Quiros (Esp) , Stephen Gallacher, Ryan Evans, Gregory Bourdy (Fra), Lorenzo Gagli (Ita)
71 Ben Evans, Javier Colomo (Esp) , Brandon Stone (Rsa), Carlos Pigem (Esp) , Bradley Neil, Pablo Larrazabal (Esp), Adrien Saddier (Fra), Laurie Canter, Adam Bland (Aus), James Heath, Gavin Green (My), Thomas Detry (Be), Soomin Lee (Kor), Marcus Fraser (Aus), Bradley Dredge, Adri Arnaus (Esp) , Pontus Widegren (Swe), Nicolas Colsaerts (Be), Andrew Dodt (Aus), Scott Fernandez (Esp) , Raphael Jacquelin (Fra), Andrea Pavan (Ita), Jamie Donaldson, Daisuke Kataoka (Jpn)
72 (a) Angel Hidalgo (Esp) , Tom Lewis, Alfredo Garcia-Heredia (Esp) , Oliver Fisher, Thongchai Jaidee (Tha), Felipe Aguilar (Chl), Eduardo De La Riva (Esp) , Alejandro Canizares (Esp) , Austin Connelly (Can), Gregory Havret (Fra), Edoardo Molinari (Ita), Richard Bland, David Howell, Estanislao Goya (Arg), David Horsey, Zander Lombard (Rsa), Pep Angles (Esp) , Nick Cullen (Aus), George Coetzee (Rsa), Lee Slattery, Gavin Moynihan, (a) Billy McKenzie, Tom Murray, Santiago Tarrio Ben (Esp) , Jordan Smith, Mark Foster, Oliver Farr
73 Marcus Kinhult (Swe), Nico Geyger (Cl), Richie Ramsay, Christofer Blomstrand (Swe), Clement Sordet (Fra), Matthieu Pavon (Fra), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Esp) , Dean Burmester (Rsa), David Drysdale, Sebastien Gros (Fra), Chris Hanson, Jeunghun Wang (Kor), Rak hyun Cho (Kor), Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Esp) , Jens Dantorp (Swe)
74 Lasse Jensen (Den), Daniel Brooks, Matthew Nixon, Joakim Lagergren (Swe), Javier Sainz (Esp) , Samuel Del Val (Esp) , Josh Geary (Nzl), James Morrison, Victor Dubuisson (Fra), Fabrizio Zanotti (Pry)
75 Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin), Andy Sullivan, Thomas Aiken (Rsa), Chase Koepka (USA), (a) Alejandro del Rey (Esp) , Daniel Im (USA), Richard McEvoy, Ashley Chesters
76 Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha), Paul Lawrie, Mikko Korhonen (Fin), Marcel Schneider (Ger), Ross McGowan
77 Birgir Hafthorsson (Is), Eddie Pepperell
78 Robert Karlsson (Swe), Niclas Fasth (Swe)
83 Jose Luis Gonzalez Courtney (Esp)