Paul Dunne was handed a late Masters lifeline last night when he tied fifth with Seamus Power in the PGA Tour’s Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic.
The Greystones man needed his first top-10 finish on the PGA Tour to be offered a place alongside Power, Shane Lowry and Pádraig Harrington in this week’s Houston Open and a final chance to qualify for Augusta National with a win.
He made four birdies in his first eight holes, and while he bogeyed the 18th for a three-under 69, it was good enough for an eight-way tie for fifth on 11-under with Power, who shot 71 to also secure his best PGA Tour finish.
Power was already in the field at the Golf Club of Houston like Lowry and Harrington, they will be hoping to snatch a last-gasp win and join Rory McIlroy in the first major of the season next week.
American Brice Garnett completed a wire-to-wire win at Corales Golf Club, closing with a 70 to win his first PGA Tour title by four shots from Keith Mitchell on 18-under par and earn $540,000.
Power and Dunne won $91,688 each with the West Waterford man, whose previous best finish was T10 in the RBC Canadian Open last year, breaking a run of four missed cuts by taking his season's earnings to $318,403 from 11 starts.
More importantly, he earned 48.43 FedEx Cup points, moving up 13 places to 117th with the top 125 at the end of the regular season keeping their cards and qualifying for the Playoffs.
Dunne also moved up to 78th in the world, one place behind Shane Lowry, and picked up valuable Ryder Cup points towards the European World Points List.