Irish Open draw puts Shane Lowry in group with Fleetwood and title holder Knox

Shane Lowry will get his Dubai Duty Free Irish Open campaign underway early on Thursday as part of an illustrious group also featuring Ryder Cup hero Tommy Fleetwood and defending champion Russell Knox.

Irish Open draw puts Shane Lowry in group with Fleetwood and title holder Knox

Shane Lowry will get his Dubai Duty Free Irish Open campaign underway early on Thursday as part of an illustrious group also featuring Ryder Cup hero Tommy Fleetwood and defending champion Russell Knox.

Lowry, in great shape to regain the national open title he won as an amateur in 2009, will be the main attraction in the opening round’s morning draw, as the world number 35 tees off at 8.40am.

This year’s Abu Dhabi Championship winner is the leading Irishman in the tournament betting having followed up that January European Tour victory with some great play on the PGA Tour, finishing runner-up behind Rory McIlroy at the Canadian Open last month and having finished tied for eighth at the previous week’s PGA Championship.

Preceding Lowry off the first tee 10 minutes earlier will be another home favourite in Graeme McDowell, who will be playing the opening two rounds alongside two-time major champion Martin Kaymer and 2018 European Ryder Cup winner Thorbjorn Olesen while Darren Clarke goes out at 8.10am in the company of Thomas Bjorn and Stephen Gallacher.

Also off in the morning will be sponsors invitee Seamus Power, the US-based West Waterford golfer making a rare appearance on home soil. PGA Tour player Power will tee off at 9.10am while the first Irishman off will be in the second group of the day as qualifier Paul McBride begins at 6.55am.

Padraig Harrington gets the afternoon draw off to a strong start at 1.10pm on Thursday after the 2020 Ryder Cup captain was paired with English duo Tyrrell Hatton and Ian Poulter.

They are followed by tournament favourite Jon Rahm in a group sure to also attract large galleries with Louis Oosthuizen and Matt Wallace, while Paul Dunne is part of another marquee group at 1.35pm which also features Lee Westwood and Eddie Pepperell.

There will be no split tees at Lahinch this week, with all 54 three-balls going off from the first tee at the iconic Co. Clare links.

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