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Alan Dunbar on a high after setting a record low


Ireland's Alan Dunbar

Ireland's Alan Dunbar

?INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Ireland's Alan Dunbar

Alan Dunbar blasted back after a nightmare start to shatter the course record with a sensational 62 during yesterday's first round of the Scottish Hydro Challenge.

Dunbar made bogey on his opening two holes, the 11th and 12th, at Macdonald Spey Valley GC, then embarked on a birdie blitz, landing 11 in all as he took the lead.

Half an hour later, he was joined on nine-under by Korea's Byeong-Hun An, who made nine birdies in his flawless opener.

"I was just in the zone," said Portrush native Dunbar (23). "I've been playing well all year now, shooting good scores but missing the cut by a couple of shots. So it's good to put it all together and have a strong round.

"It's a tough start," he added. "Eleven is a difficult opening hole and 12 is tough too. I missed the first two greens and made two bogeys so it was a really good 62."

Dunbar concealed his panic well, picking up the first of six birdies in seven holes at the par-five 13th. After two more at three and five, he rounded off his day's work with a hat-trick at eight, nine and 10.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Meadow gave a sensational display in wind and rain at Ballybunion yesterday to lead the qualifiers into the match-play stages of the Irish women's close championship.

The 21-year-old 2012 British Ladies Champion and star member of the Alabama University team fired a six under par 67 in her second round on one of Ireland's toughest links courses.

That gave her a 36-hole aggregate of 139,all of 10 strokes fewer than Slieve Russell teenager Leona Maguire who beat her in last year's Irish final.

Meadow was one stroke off the pace after round one as Chloe Ryan and Mary Doyle shared the lead on 71.

Leona's twin sister Lisa had a disastrous opening round of 86 and needed to improve to make sure of qualifying- and she moved up several gears in the afternoon.

A second round 76 for an aggregate of 163 gave Lisa a spot among the 32 qualifiers.

Belfast Telegraph