Dunne, 22, and Mullen, 21, each shot an 8-under 64 Thursday at Kingsbarns to share the early lead at the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship.
Mullen and Dunne went pro after helping Britain and Ireland beat the United States in the Walker Cup last month but looked like seasoned veterans at Kingsbarns.
He added another six birdies, including three straight from the second.
Molinari, who partnered his brother Francesco to World Cup victory for Italy in 2009 and in Europe’s win at Celtic Manor a year later, was due to play this week but wrote on Twitter: “Unfortunately I had to pull out from @DunhillLinks and the remaining events for personal reasons”. It was just a jolly out there really. Played St. Andrews lots of times and played Carnoustie five times in the British Amateur, so I know those well. I was hitting a lot of poor full shots.
“I tried to start it at the left edge of the green and let the wind drift it and I thought I hit it close”.
Lee Westwood and Luke Donald are also in the field, and lie on one under par after each posting a 71 at Carnoustie, which was definitely playing the toughest of the three courses on the day. Nice little bonus there. I’ve only played here once. I think it could be nearly won or lost around Carnoustie, really. Kingsbarns is such a handsome course, it’s in great condition and the weather is fantastic. I know both the other courses a lot better than here. “There are not all the massive stands from the Open but it brings back playing it, recent memories, and hopefully I can make a few more like I did the first three days in the Open”.
Soren Kjeldsen’s blemish-free 65 at Kingsbarns, the venue for the majority of the low scoring during the opening day, leaves him in a tie for fourth alongside Richard Bland and Anthony Wall, with Australia’s Marcus Fraser a further stroke off the pace.
Stephen Gallacher and James Morrison are among those on five under, while two-time major champion Martin Kaymer was in the group at four under, having shot the joint-best round of the day at Carnoustie.