Paul Dunne shot a bogey-free, 7-under 64 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Turkish Airlines Open on Thursday, with Justin Rose one shot back as he bids to make the first successful title defense of his career.

Dunne, who has not recorded a top-10 finish since April, had his lowest score in Europe since a closing 61 to win the British Masters in October 2017. That remains his only European Tour title.

Rose was tied for second with 2016 champion Thorbjorn Olesen and three-time major winner Padraig Harrington after a 65 featuring four birdies and a hole-out for eagle at the par-4 fourth hole.

Rose spent two weeks as the world’s top-ranked player after finishing second in the BMW Championship in September, and can return to No. 1 with a second straight victory at the Regnum Carya resort.

He is a combined 44 under par for his nine rounds in the event and he also won its precursor — an eight-man match play competition — in 2012.

“It’s a pretty simple equation: I have to win to get back to No. 1, and that means I can just focus on playing good golf this week,” Rose said.

“All aspects of my game are working. I’m just trying to get them working together, and those are the weeks where you tend to win.”

Among the group of seven players two shots off the lead were former No. 1s Martin Kaymer and Lee Westwood.


Source: The Associated Press

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