Paul Dunne has cracked the world's top 200 for the first time in his career after his heartbreaking play-off defeat at the Trophee Hassan II on Sunday.

Dunne lost out to Italian Edoardo Molinari - claiming his first European Tour title since 2010 - in Morocco and Dunne afterwards declared his performance "a step in the right direction", despite the bitter disappointment.

His exploits have lifted him up to 156th in the current rankings, making him the fourth highest ranked Irishman on the planet behind Graeme McDowell (83rd), Shane Lowry (67th) and Rory McIlroy, who remains second behind Dustin Johnson.

Dunne's weekend efforts came lined with positives.

The Greystones man pocketed a career-best €277,770 that pushed him into the top 20 in the Race to Dubai standings, and he's the first new Irish player to rise into the top 200 since 2009.

He has played ten tournaments so far and finished in the top 10 twice.