Irish Open boost for Dunne in Paris
PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 02:  Tommy Fleetwood of England celebrates victory following day four of the HNA Open de France at Le Golf National on July 2, 2017 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 02:  Tommy Fleetwood of England celebrates victory following day four of the HNA Open de France at Le Golf National on July 2, 2017 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Paul Dunne can take his European Tour earnings through the €1 million barrier at this week's Irish Open after he closed with a six-under 65 to tie for 13th in the HNA Open de France.

The 24-year old from Greystones was the epitome of scoring efficiency on the final day at Le Golf National, single putting nine times and chipping in twice in a 23-putt round that must give his confidence a timely boost heading to Portstewart.

The Wicklow player made eight birdies, including three in his last four holes, to finish eight shots behind winner Tommy Fleetwood on four-under par.

It wasn't quite enough to challenge for one of three exemptions for The Open at Royal Birkdale, which went to runner-up Peter Uihlein, and Alexander Björk and Mike Lorenzo-Vera, who tied for fourth with Thorbjorn Olesen.

Dunne at least had the consolation of adding €95,964 to his Race to Dubai tally, which helped him move up two places to 27th with 576,479 points (ie Euro) from 15 starts.

His closing nine of 31 blows also bodes well for the Irish Open, where he will have another chance to qualify for The Open via the Qualifying Series.

Having opted not to enter Final Qualifying at Woburn on Tuesday, Dunne must be one of top three non-exempt players in the Top 10 at the Irish or Scottish Opens to make it to Southport later this month.

As for the HNA Open de France, 26-year-old Fleetwood wrote another extraordinary chapter in his remarkable 2017 season, firing a flawless closing round of 66 to claim a one-shot victory in the second tournament in the European Tour’s Rolex Series.

After winning the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January, he was fourth in the US Open earlier this month and is now 15th in the world.

Spain’s Jon Rahm finished tied tenth in his debut European Tour appearance on European soil, closing with a round of 69 for a five under par total – the same mark as former World Number One Lee Westwood (70) and Alex Noren (70), the winner of the inaugural Rolex Series event, the BMW PGA Championship.

L to R: Alexander Björk, Peter Uihlein and Mike Lorenzo-Vera qualified for The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale at the HNA Open de France today. Picture, courtesy The R&A

L to R: Alexander Björk, Peter Uihlein and Mike Lorenzo-Vera qualified for The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale at the HNA Open de France today. Picture, courtesy The R&A

Tommy Fleetwood

“Today, it's a day that I'll never forget; the way I felt coming down the stretch, the holes and the shots you have to hit. And yeah, winning, it's the best feeling by far in golf, and to do it on this golf course in this event, a Rolex Series event, you know, massive, massive bonuses, I guess.

“Saturday I had to use different parts of my game. I know everybody talks about my ball-striking when it's good, but I felt like Saturday was equally impressive, just in a different way. I had to use my short game a lot, and I had to stay patient enough to stay in the tournament when I wasn't playing well.

“I think the way I started hitting it early on, it was clear that my swing was with me. I felt good. The only problems that I could have was that if I got in my own way; if I started thinking negatively; if I started backing away; if I started worrying about what was going on around me. As long as I trusted myself and as long as I concentrated on where I wanted to hit it, my start lines, my finish lines, just like we've talked about all week, I felt that was the only thing to do.

“The better I played and sort of the further the round got on, it's always difficult to keep your excitement down because you're in with a chance and it was looking good with a four-shot lead and four to play. But like I say, those last few holes make you hit the shots. You can't back out. Either hit good shots or, yeah, you're in trouble.” 

Peter Uihlein

“I didn't really look much at the board but when I saw he (Fleetwood) posted about 12, I think I was nine at that point on 11. I just wanted to try and at least make him earn it. That's all I was trying to do was just put a little pressure on him. I didn't want him to feel like he could bogey a couple holes and still be okay.

“The only thing I probably would try and redo is maybe be a little bit more aggressive on 15, 16, but other than that, it was a good shot on 17. Just a bad tee shot on 18, so I didn't give myself much of a chance. Other than that it was a good week.

“It's a good event to finish runner-up, and yeah, it gets me into The Open and it moves me up the Race to Dubai rankings a little bit. Any time you finish second in a golf tournament, it's always a good week.”

Mike Lorenzo-Vera

“That was really quality game. I had two bonus putts on 15 and 18. I didn't know that was going to be that fast on 18. It chunked a bit when it caught the hole, but very happy. I wanted to hole it, absolutely, to give myself a chance to go to The Open. I think it's going to work out.”

Alexander Björk

“It's been a great week here. I'm playing really good. Final round, I was trying to get out there and really play aggressive and try and win a spot. I was a little unlucky with the putter today but I made one at the last. I'm really happy with my third place.”

Thorbjørn Olesen

“I'm very happy. I felt like I played really well the whole way around. Hit a couple of bad shots in the middle around the turn, but then I played really well the last holes.

“I felt like last week in Germany, I played all right, but especially mentally, I was very good. Even though I made a few mistakes, I stayed very positive and I did the same this week. I was very relaxed on the golf course. I felt like this week, one day there was going to come a low round.”

Final Scores (Par 71) 

272 T Fleetwood (Eng) 67 68 71 66, 

273 P Uihlein (USA) 67 67 71 68, 

276 A Björk (Swe) 66 69 70 71, M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 71 69 70 66, T Olesen (Den) 69 69 73 65, 

277 R Fox (Nzl) 73 67 70 67, 

278 A Otaegui (Esp) 68 66 74 70, L Haotong (Chn) 71 70 70 67, R Fisher (Eng) 70 67 71 70, 

279 J Rahm (Esp) 70 69 71 69, L Westwood (Eng) 71 67 71 70, A Noren (Swe) 69 71 69 70, 

280 Paul Dunne (Irl) 70 72 73 65, T Pieters (Bel) 66 71 69 74, A Sullivan (Eng) 68 70 68 74, 

281 D Drysdale (Sco) 70 69 70 72, G Stal (Fra) 69 73 69 70, P Waring (Eng) 64 72 72 73, K Broberg (Swe) 68 71 70 72, A Saddier (Fra) 68 73 68 72, M Kieffer (Ger) 71 68 72 70, P Larrazábal (Esp) 68 73 72 68, 

282 G Havret (Fra) 73 66 71 72, T Aiken (RSA) 73 67 73 69, A Johnston (Eng) 72 68 69 73, E Pepperell (Eng) 71 71 71 69, 

283 M Siem (Ger) 69 73 72 69, B Wiesberger (Aut) 70 69 74 70, B Dredge (Wal) 69 69 69 76, 

284 R Rock (Eng) 71 67 73 73, J Smith (Eng) 70 72 75 67, 

285 N Fasth (Swe) 70 70 74 71, L Jensen (Den) 73 69 71 72, J Donaldson (Wal) 72 69 75 69, H Porteous (RSA) 72 67 73 73, J Luiten (Ned) 69 71 70 75, S Hend (Aus) 69 70 77 69, 

286 D Brooks (Eng) 72 71 74 69, M Korhonen (Fin) 72 68 75 71, F Molinari (Ita) 71 70 71 74, J Scrivener (Aus) 73 69 72 72, G Storm (Eng) 71 66 74 75, R Gouveia (Por) 73 70 71 72, N Kimsey (Eng) 66 70 75 75, 

287 I Poulter (Eng) 72 69 71 75, F Fritsch (Ger) 67 74 76 70, J Fahrbring (Swe) 71 70 75 71, F Aguilar (Chi) 72 67 76 72, R Karlberg (Swe) 68 70 74 75, 

288 O Fisher (Eng) 73 69 75 71, P Angles (Esp) 72 70 73 73, R Langasque (Fra) 73 65 77 73, N Elvira (Esp) 72 68 73 75, R Sterne (RSA) 73 69 74 72, 
289 F Zanotti (Par) 69 72 76 72, N Colsaerts (Bel) 70 73 79 67, 

290 A Levy (Fra) 69 71 74 76, M Kaymer (Ger) 69 73 77 71, C Hanson (Eng) 72 70 75 73, J Lagergren (Swe) 70 72 74 74, G Bourdy (Fra) 70 68 79 73, 
292 J Quesne (Fra) 71 72 76 73, N Bertasio (Ita) 69 70 79 74, T Jaidee (Tha) 72 71 75 74, 

293 T Fisher Jnr (RSA) 71 70 76 76, 

294 C Shinkwin (Eng) 69 72 72 81, D Im (USA) 70 72 76 76, D Perrier (Fra) 71 71 76 76, 

296 T Bjørn (Den) 73 70 77 76, P Khongwatmai (Tha) 71 72 82 71, S Gros (Fra) 73 70 76 77