2016 starts in the worst possible way for Paul Dunne

He has has to withdraw from the SA Open due to food poisoning

2016 starts in the worst possible way for Paul Dunne

Picture by: Ian Rutherford / PA Wire/Press Association Images

After an unforgettable 2015, Wicklow golfer Paul Dunne will hope 2016 improves after pulling out of his first tournament of the year.

The Walker Cup star was due to tee off at the SA Open this morning, before a bout of overnight food poisioning caused a withdrawal before teeing off. 

Dunne gained global attention last year as he led The Open into the final day at St Andrews. 

The 23-year-old was also part of the winning Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team at Royal Lytham. He won the winning point during the Sunday singles that helped GB&I regain the trophy.

The Greystones star completed his year by qualifying from the European Tour's Q-School for 2016.

Such was Dunne's impact in America after his Open heroics, he will make his debut on the PGA Tour this year. Dunne will compete at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and at Pebble Beach in the AT&T Pro-Am.

He hopes to return to action next week at the Joburg Open in South Africa.