Paul Dunne is delighted with how his career has progressed since turning professional in comparison to some of his 2015 Walker Cup teammates.
The 24-year-old, who burst onto the scene as an amateur at the 2015 Open, turned professional after the biennial match at Royal Lytham & St Annes and immediately earned his European Tour card at Q-School.
The Irishman’s debut season was tough, finishing in 106th place in the Race to Dubai, but 2017 has seen him really kick on.
He’s currently in 29th place in the rankings – coming so close to his maiden win after losing out to Edoardo Molinari in a play-off at the Trophee Hassan II – and in comparing himself to those 2015 teammates he is pleased, and also a little surprised.
“Yeah, definitely [happy],” Dunne told bunkered.co.uk of his progression after starting the Scottish Open with a four-under-par 68. “When I look at the team that I was on, I wouldn’t have considered myself that much better than anybody else in the team.
“Everyone of us would have been confident that we could all beat each other so for me to be in the position I am and looking at where the other guys who were in the team are at, I’m pretty happy. They’re all great players and I’m sure they’ll get here as well. I’m just happy to do it first.”
But after losing out to Molinari, does Dunne feel like it’s only a matter of time before he’s ready to make his breakhthrough on the circuit?
“It depends on when you’re asking me,” he added, smiling. “If you ask me after I’ve hit 20 good shots on the range, then I’ll tell you I’m right there but ask me ten minutes later and I could say I’m miles away.
“My game’s been a bit like that recently – it’s coming and going. But I’m working at it and I’ve got an idea of what I need to do.”
2015 Walker Cup team :: Where are they now?
Ashley Chesters, 27: Earned his European Tour card at 2016 Q-School and is currently 106th in the Race to Dubai with a best finish of T8.
Paul Dunne, 24: Enjoying his second year on the European Tour. Currently 29th in the Race to Dubai and lost in a play-off to Edoardo Molinari at the Trophee Hassan II.
Grant Forrest, 24: Has played seven events on the Challenge Tour this season and is currently 26th in the Road to Oman rankings.
Ewen Ferguson, 21: The youngest member of the 2015 team, Ferguson has been playing largely on the Alps Tour this season.
Jack Hume, 23: Turned pro in October 2016 and joined ISM but missed the cut in his only start on the European and Challenge Tours at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
Gary Hurley, 24: Currently in his second year on the Challenge Tour with a best finish of T4 at the 2016 Montecchia Open.
Jack McDonald, 24: Another player signed by ISM, McDonald has featured just a handful of times on the Challenge Tour and finished T33 at the Scottish Hydro Challenge a few weeks back.
Gavin Moynihan, 22: A winner on the EuroPro Tour at the Lookers Championship and lost out in the final of the Challenge Tour’s Match Play 9 to Aaron Rai.
Jimmy Mullen, 23: Had full Challenge Tour status in 2016 but lost that and is now on the EuroPro Tour, where he has had some strong finishes.
Cormac Sharvin, 24: Has full Challenge Tour status in 2017 but so far, his best finish has been T20 in season-opening Kenya Open.