Paul Dunne is just four shots off the lead after the opening round of the BMW International Open in Germany.
The Greystones player missed just three greens in regulation as he posted a three under par 69 to share 14th spot at Gut Laerchenhof Golf Club where Raphael Jacquelin carded a 65 to lead by one stroke from England’s Oliver Fisher.
Michael Hoey is four over after taking 34 putts in a four over 76 but Henrik Stenson’s opening four under 68 saw him join a strong chasing pack which includes defending champion Pablo Larrazabal.
Sergio Garcia, meanwhile, posted an opening one under par 71 while Masters champion Danny Willett produced an uncharacteristic double-bogey, birdie, birdie, double-bogey, bogey finish over his last five holes to end the day at two over and with work to do to make the halfway cut.
As the baking sun finally began to lose its strength at Gut Laerchenhof, Richie Ramsay produced the hottest shot of the day, a perfect seven iron from 182 yards on the par three 16th hole which won the Scotsman a brand new BMW M760Li xDrive, worth a cool €170,000.
“I'm pretty pleased with that. The rough is really thick here this year and a lot of emphasis on hitting fairways and greens, and I think I did that. I think I hit all fairways on the par 5s and hit them all in two and two-putted them. That's where I made most of my score today. I wasn't really in trouble many times, other than a missed wedge on 10 that left a really difficult two-putt which I obviously three-putted.
“I made a 12-footer on the second for birdie and that was pretty much it. Good pace on the greens and didn't leave myself too much work.”
“I'm very pleased, of course, as you imagine. I played solid pretty much all day long. A bit tough at the end but I managed to save some good pars. I tried to stay focused on the game and the way I was hitting the ball, and yeah, did pretty well and very happy for that. I haven’t been leading for a long time so it’s a good feeling.
“I have worked with David (Leadbetter) since 1992. My coach is Alain Alberti from the David Leadbetter Academy, so that's why I see David every year. I saw him at the BMW PGA at Wentworth, and I was struggling a little bit on my ball-striking. He spent like maybe 2 1/2 hours with me, Thursday, Friday, and he saw a few things that have helped. He's got different eyes; he can see some things you can't see and you can't feel. I'd love to see him more, but I mean, I don't play in America, so doesn't work like this. Working with him and my coach has always been good. He gives us the direction and we just follow to keep the same direction, so that's what he did at the BMW PGA. He said, hey, guys, look at this, look at that and it's better.”
“The wind was down off the right and I hit a seven iron to hold it up. As it was in mid-air I thought ‘CAR’ but didn’t say anything as thought might be a jinx. It pitched just short and we were saying ‘go on, go on’ and then it disappeared. So next thing we are leaping around the tee box, high fiving and it’s just a great feeling. I tried to get in the car and it was locked!
“I have been inside now and it is beautiful. You can just lean back and feels like you are in a business class seat of a plane - you can lie all the way back, you have the tablet, skylight, leather, speakers. I am just processing it now and the value of it. It takes a while to process. Fantastic feeling and just huge thanks to BMW. It’s such a fantastic prize and great they put it up for a prize. It will look fantastic in the driveway and the great thing is that it is safe as houses. We have a three and a half month old daughter and this is something to keep her safe. She has plenty of room to make lots of noise!”
First round scores
65 R Jacquelin (Fra);
66 O Fisher (Eng);
67 T Olesen (Den); F Aguilar (Chi); Z Lombard (RSA);
68 J Winther (Den); B Wiesberger (Aut); R Kakko (Fin); H Stenson (Swe); D Fichardt (RSA); M Carlsson (Swe); P Larrazábal (Esp); R McGowan (Eng);
69 M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra); B Dredge (Wal); P Meesawat (Tha); K Aphibarnrat (Tha); A Otaegui (Esp); N Holman (Aus); T Jaidee (Tha); G Storm (Eng); S Jamieson (Sco); R Dinwiddie (Eng); P Dunne (Irl); M Fraser (Aus);
70 S Chawrasia (Ind); R Echenique (Arg); T Bjørn (Den); N Elvira (Esp); J Luiten (Ned); B Stone (RSA); M Madsen (Den); A Hansen (Den); C Lee (Sco); D Im (USA); D Lipsky (USA); A Wall (Eng); J Carlsson (Swe); N Bertasio (Ita);
71 J Van Zyl (RSA); M Korhonen (Fin); M Ilonen (Fin); S Hend (Aus); S Garcia (Esp); A Sullivan (Eng); W Ashun (Chn); J Campillo (Esp); M Kieffer (Ger); B Åkesson (Swe); J Scrivener (Aus); T Lewis (Eng); S Manley (Wal); R Ramsay (Sco); P Hanson (Swe); A McArthur (Sco); R Bland (Eng); F Zanotti (Par); J Hansen (Den); J Walters (RSA); M Southgate (Eng); B Ritthammer (Ger); C Berardo (Fra);
72 J Knutzon (USA); F Laporta (Ita); R Karlsson (Swe); R Evans (Eng); O Wilson (Eng); S Dyson (Eng); B Rumford (Aus); N Cullen (Aus); N Fasth (Swe); P Mejow (Ger); S Benson (Eng); C Hanson (Eng); M Manassero (Ita); C Paisley (Eng); E Pepperell (Eng); A Cejka (Ger); R McEvoy (Eng); T Hatton (Eng); J Paul (am) (Ger);
73 E Molinari (Ita); P Lawrie (Sco); M Siem (Ger); N Colsaerts (Bel); G Boyd (Eng); R Lee (Can); R Fisher (Eng); R Karlberg (Swe); J Wang (Kor); M Jiménez (Esp); A Dodt (Aus); D Horsey (Eng); R Wattel (Fra); L Canter (Eng); M Ford (Eng); T Fleetwood (Eng); B Virto (Esp); A Quiros (Esp); Y Paul (am) (Ger);
74 M Röhrig (Ger); R Green (Aus); L McCoy (USA); J Kolbing (Ger); R Gouveia (Por); G Stal (Fra); Y Yang (Kor); D Willett (Eng); M Foster (Eng); A Johnston (Eng); L Nemecz (Aut); D Howell (Eng); G Coetzee (RSA); E De La Riva (Esp); L Slattery (Eng); J Hugo (RSA);
75 D Brooks (Eng); D Dixon (Eng); U Van Den Berg (RSA); A Cañizares (Esp); C Shinkwin (Eng); J Singh (Ind); J Morrison (Eng); J Parry (Eng); S Lee (Kor);
76 J McLeary (Sco); J Zunic (Aus); J Lagergren (Swe); R Paratore (Ita); B Evans (Eng); M Warren (Sco); J Fahrbring (Swe); M Hoey (Nir); D Drysdale (Sco); M Baldwin (Eng); L Jensen (Den); S Webster (Eng);
77 L Bjerregaard (Den); F Fritsch (Ger); G Havret (Fra); T Linard (Fra); J Quesne (Fra); B Hebert (Fra); T Van Der Walt (RSA); J Jeong (Kor);
78 T Fisher Jnr (RSA); M Kinhult (Swe);
79 R Davies (Wal); P Edberg (Swe); H Porteous (RSA); L Haotong (Chn); S Gros (Fra);
80 K Broberg (Swe);
81 E España (Fra); D Gavins (Eng);
84 N Dougherty (Eng).