Walker Cup stars Dunne, Mullen share Dunhill lead


Less than a month after starring for the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team, Paul Dunne and Jimmy Mullen got off to fast starts in their pro debuts.

Dunne, 22, and Mullen, 21, each shot an 8-under 64 Thursday at Kingsbarns to share the early lead at the European Tour's Dunhill Links Championship. Kristoffer Broberg shot 8 under at St. Andrews. 

Dunne, who became the first amateur in 88 years to hold the 54-hole lead at the Open, made a hole-in-one and rolled in a 40-footer on the last to post 64 in his first round as a pro. 

Last month at Royal Lytham, Mullen became only the fourth GB&I player to post a 4-0 record in the biennial matches. He helped the home team win, 16 ½ to 9 ½, and hand the Americans their worst-ever loss in the Walker Cup.

Dunne and Mullen are among four GB&I Walker Cuppers who are making their pro debuts this week, along with Ashley Chesters and Gary Hurley, both of whom shot 73 Thursday. 

The Dunhill Links uses a three-course rotation during the event, with Kingsbarns, St. Andrews and Carnoustie.

“It’s great,” Mullen said afterward. “Didn’t quite expect it, obviously. I know both of the other courses a lot better than here. I’ve only played here once. Played St. Andrews lots of times and played Carnoustie five times in the British Amateur, so I know those well. To start off my career at St. Andrews is a dream, really.”