December in Ireland and the promise of golf seems a distant land. But all is not quiet for Mallow’s James Sugrue, the British Amateur champion. The rewards from that amazing win keep on coming and this past month has taken him on a circuit of award ceremonies.
Colin Sheridan With the sporting summer we’ve so far had — Irish cricketers storming Lord’s, young Irish soccer players dazzling in Europe, young Irish sprinters winning medals, and some lad from Clara winning the Open up north, you could almost be forgiven for forgetting about the hurling.
Of all the challenges Shane Lowry had to overcome in Portrush last week, none was more persistent or annoying than the American journalist who insisted on pestering the Irish golfer — and the others from the island — with questions about the symbolism of an Open Championship held in Northern Ireland.
This week’s 148th Open at Royal Portrush is officially the most attended Championship staged outside St Andrews with the R&A announcing on Wednesday that there will be a record-breaking crowd of 237,750 for the tournament starting on Thursday.
Paul McGinley is confident the scheduling issues around next year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open can be resolved by European and PGA Tour bosses in the coming weeks but admitted it will be a difficult and challenging task and the outcome may be less than perfect.
The consensus is Pádraig Harrington would need to be out of his mind to take on the role of host at the Irish Open Championship next July, given that he is set to captain the European Ryder Cup team at Whistling Straits less than three months later.
It seems as if Pádraig Harrington may have offended the golfing gods. Not so much for the magnificent 63 he shot here in Lahinch on the opening day of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, so much as the unrestrained satisfaction he took from it all.
Eddie Pepperell may have earned himself a late tee time in today’s third round at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open after he followed his opening 65 with a 67 yesterday, but the Englishman is not banking on a good night’s sleep in Lahinch.
With the pressure of securing a starting spot in his hometown Open Championship later this month now lifted, Graeme McDowell is relishing the opportunity to free his mind and concentrate on the task at hand: a good week in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
God knows there are many reasons to marvel at Tiger Woods and among the talents Pádraig Harrington has had occasion to envy was the American’s knack of finding his rhythm at major after major without recourse to anything like a tune-up coming in.
Graeme McDowell will be trying to avoid thinking about The Open Championship in his hometown of Portrush in two weeks as he bids to start his links golf season on a high at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open on Thursday.
With only a limited number of tickets remaining for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open this weekend, tournament host Paul McGinley has all the validation he needs that bringing the European Tour to Lahinch was the right call, regardless of which stars tee it up on the prestigious links tomorrow.
Paul Dunne knows he must ignore the dream of a Masters debut if he’s to get closer to winning his PGA Tour card at the Houston Open in Texas. The Wicklow man and Clara’s Shane Lowry kept their Augusta dreams alive with battling second round performances.
Paul Dunne may be starting his 2018 campaign on Thomas Bjorn’s European team at this weekend’s EurAsia Cup in Malaysia but the Irish star will not be fooled that he has one foot in the door for this year’s Ryder Cup.