Golf: Paul Dunne holds off Rory McIlroy to win the British Masters

Ireland's Paul Dunne celebrates after chipping in on the 18th during the final round to win the British Masters on Oct 1, 2017.
Ireland's Paul Dunne celebrates after chipping in on the 18th during the final round to win the British Masters on Oct 1, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Ireland's Paul Dunne won his first European Tour title by edging Rory McIlroy into second place at the British Masters thanks to a nine-under par 61 in Sunday's final round.

Dunne reached the turn in five-under, but then suffered heavy pressure when McIlroy birdied five of the last seven holes at Close House.

The 24-year-old Dunne did not buckle, though, and holed four birdies of his own on the back nine to win by three shots on 20-under par.

Dunne said: "It feels great. I feel like I've been up there a few times and never put my foot down to win it. I have come close, so it's nice to put the demon off my back and get my first one."

McIlroy has now finished runner-up twice in 2017 and is facing only the second winless season of his career.

The Northern Irishman said: "It was just nice to have a chance to win a golf tournament. I think that was the big thing and the more chances I have like that, I seem to play better."

Overnight leader Robert Karlsson finished third, four shots back, after managing only a four-under 66 in the final round.