Paul Dunne shocked the golfing world as an amateur at The Open in 2015, but the Irishman was not surprised by his challenge for the Claret Jug after being told by his college coach he was playing well enough to triumph.
The Open has been won exclusively by professional players ever since Bobby Jones secured his third title at golf’s original championship in 1930.
However, at age 22, Dunne threatened to pull off the ultimate upset in The 144th Open at St Andrews as he claimed a share of the lead through 54 holes.
Although he eventually slipped out of contention on the final day as Zach Johnson triumphed in a play-off, Dunne could be hugely proud of his contribution to a fascinating week at the Home of Golf.
Discussing the championship at length in the latest Tales of The Open documentary podcast, which you can listen to now on your favourite podcast platform, he explained how a combination of factors ensured he was full of confidence upon teeing off at St Andrews.
“I had my college coach (Alan Murray) come over, who knew me really well, to caddie,” he said. “And he was in my ears in the practice rounds because I was playing really nicely.
“He said: ‘You’re playing well enough to win this tournament – I don’t care what they call the tournament, I don’t care if it’s The Open or the Irish Amateur. Around this golf course, the way you’re playing, you should be looking to do more than just make the cut.’
“I was going into that one very much with a mindset of trying to do well rather than just being happy to be there.”
To listen to Paul Dunne’s Tales of The Open and all of the other documentary episodes from The Open Podcasts, visit www.theopen.com/podcasts.