Dunne earns McIlroy plaudits

01 October 2017 12:41:14 EST

Rory McIlroy paid tribute to champion Paul Dunne after he shot an amazing closing 61 to claim victory in the British Masters at Close House.

McIlroy was in contention after recording a superb 63 of his own, before Dunne held his nerve in style to birdie both of his final two holes to finish on 20-under par, three shots clear of the four-time Major champion.

It is unbelievable to shoot 61 to win his first Tour event. It's incredibly impressive.

Rory McIlroy

And McIlroy, who is still searching for a first win of 2017, had few complaints about missing out on picking up the trophy.

He told Sky Sports: "It was good. It was just nice to have a chance to win a golf tournament - mentally I am just a little bit more engaged and switched on.

"I set myself a target on the back nine. I said to myself 'if I can shoot four-under on this back nine and finish 17-under I feel like I will have a chance'.

"So I did everything that I wanted to do, it just wasn't good enough in the end.

"It is unbelievable to shoot 61 to win his first Tour event. It's incredibly impressive.

"I'm happy for him as well. He works hard on his game. Every time I'm out practicing on the putting green or chipping green he's always there and he's always working hard. So it's very well deserved."

McIlroy is priced at 9/1 to win the Masters at Augusta next year and complete a full set of Major titles, while the Northern Irishman is 11/1 to triumph at the Open Championship for a second time.

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