Port Fairy course champ’s been there, Dunn that

CHRIS Dunn yesterday clinched his second Port Fairy Golf Club championship in three years with a record-breaking performance.

The Melbourne-based Dunn claimed a 19-shot victory after posting the lowest four-round total on an 18-hole course in club history.

Dunn finished the championships at three-under 285, well clear of fast-finishing teenager Nelson Williams.

The secondary school maths teacher’s championships began with an opening round course-record 67. He followed that with rounds of 75, a four-under 68 in Saturday’s third round and closed it out with another 75 yesterday.

“I’m very happy to shoot three-under in four rounds. I haven’t done that before,” he said.

“To get that record that no one has ever done before was good. Rounds one and three were hot and rounds two and four I was just holding on, but you can’t shoot 67 every round.”

Dunn’s four-round total eclipsed the previous best of even-par set by Dylan O’Keeffe as a teenager, before taking up a professional traineeship at the club. Dunn said he had tried to set goals after the first round to keep his mind on the job.

“I didn’t have much more to shoot for today,” he said. “I brought my handicap down from scratch to plus-one (on Saturday) and I wasn’t going to be able to get it to plus-two. My main goal was to shoot for the overall record.”

He knew he could shoot 77 yesterday and still claim the slice of history.

But after regulation pars on the opening two holes, he drove left on the par-four third and lost a ball. With his second ball, he then flew his approach shot over the green and was staring at a double bogey. But he produced a stunning flop side, holing it to escape with a five.

Dunn made birdie at the par-four sixth after hitting his approach to two metres and made a “soft” bogey on the par-four ninth, going out in one-over 37. On the par-five 12th, he hit his second shot out of bounds and with his second ball found a fairway bunker that left him with a 40-metre pitch, which he knocked to within a few centimetres.

“It was another pretty special bogey,” Dunn joked.

On Saturday Dunn went out in one-over 37 but come home in 31 after a memorable back-nine that included an eagle three at the par-five 18th, birdies at the 10th, 11th, 13th and 15th holes and a bogey at the long par-four 14th, which was playing into a stiff breeze.

His eagle at the 18th came after he hit driver and then five-wood to the green, where he holed a “20-foot” putt.

Dunn said his participation in a statewide teachers’ strike last Thursday had helped his preparation for the weekend’s 36 holes.

“If I was going to kiss goodbye a day’s pay I thought I might as while go and play golf.” So he played at seaside Cape Schanck.

He said he was delighted to claim a second championship, rating this one special.

“This time I feel I’m part of the club. The first time I felt guilty because I had only just joined up and no one knew me,” he said.

A challenge from Dunn’s good mate Troy Richardson failed to eventuate with 17-year-old Williams firing rounds of 70 and 73 to climb to second, three ahead of Richardson, who was third. 

grbest@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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