Wednesday, 10 October 2018
Paul Dunne  (Getty Images)
Paul Dunne (Getty Images)
Paul Dunne is relishing his first European Tour title defence as he prepares to tee it up at this week's Sky Sports British Masters.

The Irishman claimed his maiden win at Close House Golf Club last season, chipping in at the last as he beat Rory McIlroy by three shots.

This year's event is held at Walton Heath Golf Club, a layout Dunne knows well, and he is hoping to have lots of support on the outskirts of the English capital.

“I'd love it. I'd love to keep hold of any trophy to be honest with you,” he said. “I'm just continuing to work on my things and hopefully it sparks up this week and I can get some good mojo going.

“Any time an Irishman can win on British soil is a good thing. We had quite a lot there the last day last year, as well. Obviously with this being so close to London, I'm assuming a lot of people will turn up, so hopefully I can give them something to cheer about, especially since Paddy (Harrington) is in the field.

“It's a course that I know relatively well. I've played a few amateur events here, the US Open qualifying. I know they've moved the course around a little bit but it's a course I like.

“I've obviously got a great pairing tomorrow with Justin (Rose) and Matt (Fitzpatrick), so hopefully I can rekindle a little bit of form like I did last year and do it again.”

Dunne is 51st in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex after a strong showing in the summer's Rolex Series events and a second-place finish at the Open de España in April.

Hopefully I can rekindle a little bit of form like I did last year and do it again - Paul Dunne

His only other individual top ten this season came two weeks after his performance in Madrid at the Volvo China Open, and the following week he won the GolfSixes alongside Gavin Moynihan.

The 25 year old believes he played the best golf of his career in that spell in the spring and summer and is looking to recreate that magic in Surrey.

"I think I had probably a struggle at the start of the season and then I had three months in the middle where I played the best golf I've played ever,” he said.

“I've fallen away since then and I'm just trying to find those little touches that kind of put you back up because it's fine margins, you know. I'm not too far away. Hopefully I can find a bit of that what I had in April and May."

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