Open Championship hero Paul Dunne will get his first taste of PGA Tour action in next month’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California.
The 23-year old from Greystones has landed a precious invitation to tee it up alongside Pádraig Harrington, Shane Lowry and PGA Tour stars such as Phil Mickelson, Jason Day and Bubba Watson at Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula Country Club’s Shore Course from February 11-14
“It's an exciting opportunity for me to play in a world class field on one of the world’s best golf courses,” said Dunne, who spent four years in the US playing collegiate golf for the University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB).
Dunne has no other PGA Tour invitations lined up and will make to make his 2016 debut on the European Tour starting with next week’s BMW SA Open hosted by City of Ekurhuleni at Glendower Golf Club and the following week’s Joburg Open at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington.
While he brilliantly earned his European Tour card at the Qualifying School last November, Dunne’s Category 16 card does not guarantee him starts in any of the desert swing events, though he may receive invitations.
“I'm playing the first two European Tour events in South Africa, but my category gets me into no desert events so we will see,” he said.
Dunne is the only Irish player currently in the BMW SA Open field but he will be joined in the Joburg Open by Peter Lawrie, Kevin Phelan and Ruaidhri McGee.
UAB graduate Graeme McDowell won the 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach and Dunne is simply happy to get a game there.
“I’ve played at Bayonet and Black Horse, which are not too far away,” Dunne said. “I’ve only walked Pebble. It's amazing.”