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Paul Dunne ready for his 'fifth Major' at Ballyliffin

By Adam McKendry

Irish golfer Paul Dunne says he can't wait to take part in his 'fifth Major' when he takes to the course at Ballyliffin next month for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation.

The Wicklow golfer has only competed in the tournament twice, finishing tied-60th at The K Club on his debut in 2016 and tied-54th last year at Portstewart.

But this year, the 25-year old will be arriving in Co Donegal with some momentum after winning the British Masters last October, and he's recorded four top-10 finishes in his last seven events.

Dunne, the World No.71, burst onto the scene when he led The Open Championship in 2015 going into the final round, and is now looking to become the latest Irish winner of the tournament after the recent successes of Rory McIlroy (2016), Shane Lowry (2009) and Padraig Harrington (2007).

"The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is the tournament we look forward to the most," said Dunne. "To win it would be right up there with the four Majors for me personally.

"I think Ballyliffin will be a great test of a venue this year. It’s always good to play in front of the home crowd and the support is always incredible. They always keep you in it and they provide a nice buzz.

"It’s going to be another great week and hopefully the weather holds up nicely. If I can give myself chances over the next few years to win it I would be delighted. Hopefully this year gives me one of those chances, but we’ll see."

Dunne joins a star-studded field that will assemble at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, which is again the fourth Rolex Series event on the European Tour, offering a bumper $7million prize fund and extra ranking points for Europe's Ryder Cup squad.

Last year's champion Jon Rahm, the World No.4, has already confirmed he will defend his title, with tournament host and World No.6 McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and 2016 Ryder Cup stars Rafa Cabrera Bello, Danny Willett, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Chris Wood among the main contenders.

Tickets for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation are on sale at www.europeantour.com/tickets and begin at €20 for Pro-Am Wednesday, with tickets for Thursday and Friday costing €32 and day tickets for the weekend costing €34 each.  An adult season souvenir ticket, which covers five days of world class golf from Wednesday to Sunday, costs just €110.

Concessions are available for customers aged over 60 and between 14 and 17, while children up to 13 are permitted free entry when accompanied by a ticket holding adult.

Fans will also be treated to a festival of music as country star Nathan Carter headlines the ‘Glashedy Sessions’ on the Friday night of the tournament. A host of exciting local bands will also entertain the crowds at the Glashedy Stage, including popular four-piece the Logues and regular favourites the Groove Robbers.

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