Dunne holds off McIlroy’s challenge to win British Masters

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, England — Paul Dunne held off a thrilling challenge from Rory McIlroy in the final round of the British Masters on Sunday to claim his first European Tour title.

Dunne, who sprang to prominence after sharing the 54-hole lead in the 2015 British Open while still an amateur, shot seven birdies and an eagle in a closing 61 to finish 20 under par.

The 24-year-old Irishman sealed victory in style by chipping in on the 18th to finish three shots clear of McIlroy and secure a place in the world’s top 100 for the first time.

McIlroy’s 63 was the lowest score of an injury-plagued season which he will bring to an early, self-imposed end next week.

European Ryder Cup vice-captain Robert Karlsson, who began the day with a one-shot lead, finished third on 16 under, with Graeme Storm, David Lingmerth and Florian Fritsch all on 14 under.