The most surprising name near the top of the British Open leaderboard belongs to an amateur named Paul Dunne. The 22-year-old Irishman ascended to lead the event Sunday after birdieing five of the first 10 holes in his third round. Here are five things to know about Dunne.
1. He just finished his senior year at Alabama-Birmingham. That's where fellow Irishman Graeme McDowell played his college golf. Dunne was the No. 1 golfer for the Blazers with a scoring average of 71.9. He shot 5-under at the NCAA Championships over four rounds to finish fifth and was named an honorable mention All-American by PING late June.
2. He was the first golfer to defend the Irish boys title. Back in 2009, Dunne defended his Irish boys title from 2008, a lofty accomplishment considering the golfers that hail from Ireland and the history of golf within the country.
3. He almost didn't play in the British Open. Dunne was victorious in final qualifying in Woburn at The Marquess’ Course, shooting 9-under over two-rounds three weeks ago. Qualifying alongside him? Two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen.
4. His college coach is caddying for him. Dunne played four seasons for Alan Murray at UAB, and Murray is repaying him by carrying his bag all week. Murray isn't new to golf in Europe. He is an Irishman as well and competed on the European Challenge Tour.
5. He is still older than Jordan Spieth. Born in November 1992, Dunne is still eight months older than the Golden Child trying to win the third leg of the calendar grand slam.