Archive for the ‘Golf’ Category

Peoples and Kernaghan dovetail perfectly to win Fourball event at Lough Erne

April 14, 2019

The 8th at Lough Erne

There was a truly international flavour to the end-of-season PGA Ulster Branch Fourball Tournament at Lough Erne Resort as Andy Peoples and Nathan Kernaghan surged to the top of the leaderboard to claim the honours.
New Zealander Peoples, a product of the Darren Clarke Golf School, retains his home country tag and teamed up with Massereene’s Kernaghan to post a three-under-par 69 to finish one shot clear of Ricky Whitford/Nicky Grant and Matthew Cochrane/Michael Stanford.
It was the Massereene man who set the ball rolling with a birdie three at the second hole where he wedged to six feet before Peoples recorded a birdie hat-trick from the fourth.
A drive, four iron and a gap wedge to three feet set up a birdie at the par five fourth. He then rifled a five iron to three feet for a birdie two at the next and the treble was completed with another birdie four at the sixth following a pitch and putt.
That saw the winners out in four-under-32 but the run was halted at the 12th where a lost ball and bunker trouble cost the pair a stroke for bogey five.
Kernaghan steadied the ship again with a birdie four at 14, rolling in a five-footer, and Peoples responded at the next hole with his second birdie two, getting down from eight feet after a nine iron tee shot.
Now coasting at five under, the wheels came off at 16 and 17 as both players were guilty of mistakes and the pair suffered back-to-back finishing bogeys but they clung on to seal the victory.
That finishes the Northern Branch activity until the new season begins in October.

PGA Northern Branch Fourball Tournament at Lough Erne Resort
69 (-3) – A Peoples (New Zealand) & N Kernaghan (Massereene).
70 – R Whitford (Knock Head Pro) & N Grant (Knock Assistant Pro); M Cochrane (American Golf) & M Stanford (Lough Erne}.
71 – G Graham (Groomsport Golf Centre) & C Lyttle (Donaghadee); G Shaw (Moyola Pk) & R Kilpatrick (Banbridge).

With thanks to Tony McGee

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No guarantees of Masters success for Rory

April 9, 2019


We’ve been here before, Rory McIlroy and The Masters.
According to the perceived wisdom, Rory’s game is tailor-made for Augusta National.
It’s a done deal. He’s bound to win it. The Holywood golfer will pull on the green jacket and join the list of golfing greats to complete the grand slam.
It’s all nonsense of course. Speak to Greg Norman about winning at Augusta or ask Phil Mickelson about the grand slam. The 48-year-old is still waiting on that elusive US Open win to book his own place amongst the golfing legends. Nearly 20 years of trying and he’s finished second six times.
There is ample evidence to suggest that Augusta National suits the games of Dustin Johnson, Brooks Keopka and Justin Rose just as well as Rory, maybe even better. And if they are considered genuine contenders, can anyone seriously rule out in-form Francesco Molinari or Paul Casey?
The truth is that some parts of Rory’s game, his driving, his long iron play give him an advantage at Augusta, but his inconsistent wedge game and his shaky putting have held him back.
Yet for all that, as the 29-year-old gears up for the opening major of the season, and his 11th appearance at The Masters, there are genuine reasons to be positive about his chances, the most significant being his very strong competitive start to the season.
At the back end of last year, when he signaled his intentions to stay closer to home in Florida and focus more on the US PGA Tour it was seen by many as a direct slap in the face to the European Tour.
He insisted that it was all about getting back to the summit of the game and his performances would suggest that he made the right decision. No missed cuts, seven top 10’s, a second and crucially a win at the Players’ Championship where he had to dig deep after an early wobble.
He is now up to third in the world and his putting has certainly improved under the guidance of former tour pro Brad Faxon but his wedge play still needs some work, especially from 75-100 yards in. Even just a small gain could make a decisive difference.
He also heads to Augusta full of confidence following that win at Sawgrass but the real test will be how he deals with expectation levels, both public and personal. He has spoken in recent months about the three P’s – patience, perspective and poise – and that mantra will surely be put to the test at Augusta.
Ahead of the recent Dell Match-play event he said; “I would have said a couple of years ago, ‘I need to win a Masters. I need a Green Jacket’. Where now it’s, ‘I want to. I want to win it. And I’d love to win it’. But if I don’t I’m okay.
“I’ve had ten years of learning at Augusta, some tough times. And if one day I’m able to get that Green Jacket at the end of 72 holes, all of those experiences will have played a part in helping me do that. So have I a desire to do it? Yes. Do I have a need to do it? No.”
He’s playing well, he’s seemingly in a good place mentally only time will tell if 2019 will be his year.

Banbridge players steal the show at Ulster Golfers’ Alliance finale

March 27, 2019


Banbridge players cleaned up as the Ulster Golfers’ Alliance Race to Concra Wood crossed the finishing line in Castleblayney.
Along with the team prize, professional Richard Kilpatrick topped the leaderboard with a round of 69 (-3) while Jonathan Ward grabbed the amateur nett crown.
In the pro event, Brian McElhinney (Evolve Golf Coaching) finished one shot shy of the winner with Nicky Grant (Blackwood), Gareth Shaw (Moyola Park) and Richard Whitford (Knock) tied for third
Kilpatrick set out his stall immediately with a birdie at the par five first hole where he was a few yards short of the green in two and pitched and putted for a four.
He then pencilled in another birdie four at the fourth in similar circumstances to be out in two-under 34.
Strangely, it was a short hole that cost him his only bogey of the day as he missed the green at the 14th with a six iron and failed to get up and down in regulation.
He bounced back immediately on the par five 15th, finding the front edge of the green in two followed by two putts. And he wrapped up his round in style on the 18th firing an eight iron approach to six inches for a homeward nine of 35 blows.
Scratch player Damian McCusker, from Moyola Park, won the amateur’s gross prize on 34 points.
To wrap up the UGA winter action there will be a pro-only Fourball Betterball event at Lough Erne Resort on April 9.

Ping UGA Race to Concra Wood Leaderboard
Professionals: 69 (-3) – R Kilpatrick (Banbridge).
70 – B McElhinney (Evolve Golf Coaching).
71 – N Grant (Blackwood), G Shaw (Moyola Pk), R Whitford (Knock).
72 – P Hanna (Lurgan).
Amateurs: Nett, 38 pts – J Ward (2) (Banbridge).
36 – S Burns (7) (Warrenpoint).
35 – A Connolly (4) (Blackwood) …. 3rd on countback.
35 – P O’Donnell (3) (Whitehead) …. 4th.
Gross, 34 pts – D McCusker scr (Moyola Pk).
Team: 85 pts – Pro R Kilpatrick (Banbridge with amateurs J Ward 2 (Banbridge), S Burns 7 (Warrenpoint) & C Wilton 2 (Banbridge).

With thanks to Tony McGee

Shaw and Kilpatrick lead the way at Castlerock

March 21, 2019


Richard Kilpatrick and Gareth Shaw topped the leaderboard at Castlerock GC in the final qualifying event of the Race to Concra Wood supported by Golf Now.
The duo finished their rounds with 41pts each, leaving Wesley Ramsey (Knockbracken Golf Academy) in third, four points off the pace.
Banbridge GC’s Kilpatrick was first to set the target as he spread seven birdies over his impressive card.
The birdie barrage began at the par four second where he holed from six feet following a fine sand-wedge approach. He followed up with a two-putt birdie at the par-five second and added a third birdie at the sixth from 12 feet.
On a day of low scoring it was the short holes that caused some problems for Richard as he missed the green at the ninth and failed to get up and down for par and, after flying the 16th surface with a pitching wedge, he also pencilled in bogey four.
Out in two under 34 he picked up further birdies at the 11th, 13th, 15th and 17th At the long 11th he got down in two putts from 35 feet, holed a 40-footer for a three at 13, got up and down for another birdie four at 15 and two-putted from 20 feet on 17 for his final birdie of the day.
Shaw highlighted his card with two eagle threes, carved out with a drive and six iron to four feet at the fifth and a 20-foot putt after a four iron to the 17th green. He also birdied the long third and 11th holes with a chip and putt each time.
The Moyola pro also carded a birdie three at the 12th where he rolled home a 20-footer.
His only lapse of the day came at the short 16 where his tee-shot caught long grass and he walked away with no score for the hole.
Jules Wilson posted 41 points, off a 21-handicap, to win the amateur’s top nett prize, two points ahead of runner-up five-handicapper Emma Leslie. The gross award was collected by former pro, Paul Cutler, who posted a one-under-72.

PGA Ulster Golfers’ Alliance Tournament, supported by Golf Now, at Castlerock

Professionals: 68 (-5) – R Kilpatrick (Banbridge), G Shaw (Moyola Pk).
72 – W Ramsey (Knockbracken).
73 – B McElhinney (Evolve Golf Coaching), C Loughrey (Castlerock), S Donnelly (Castle Hume), C Carvill (Belvoir Pk).
Amateurs: Nett, 41 pts – J Wilson 21 (Shandon Pk).
39 – Emma Leslie 5 (Moyola Pk).
38 – M Holmes 12 (Castlerock) … 3rd;
38 – O Mullan 4 (Castlerock) … 4th.
Gross, 72 (-1) – P Cutler +1 (Royal Portrush).
Team: 90 pts – Pro B Wilson with amateurs J Wilson 21, L Hale 21 & G Hamill 13 (all Shandon Pk)

with thanks to Tony McGee

Moyvalley Resort to stage 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open qualifier

March 18, 2019

The 10th at Moyvalley

Moyvalley Hotel and Golf Resort will host this year’s €40,000 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open qualifier (June 29-30).
The 36-hole tournament, administered by the PGA in Ireland, will be staged at the Co.Kildare venue with four starting places in the $7,000,000 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Lahinch Golf Club (July 4-July 7) up for grabs.
PGA in Ireland Regional Manager, Michael McCumiskey said; “As we plan for the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open qualifier it is great news that we have been able to secure Moyvalley for this year’s event.
“In 2016 and 2017 the venue hosted the Irish PGA Championship and it proved to be a real test of golf for our professionals.

“This year, with four spots available at Lahinch and prize money of €40,000 to be played for, there will be huge interest from professionals and amateurs alike all dreaming of a place in the Irish Open.”

The course at Moyvalley is described as an inland links as it takes on some of the features of a traditional seaside links course, with tall fescue grass, large putting surfaces featuring heavy contouring, runoffs and firm surfaces. It certainly produced two high-class Irish PGA champions in Damien McGrane (2016) and Tim Rice (2017).
“We are delighted to be chosen to host the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Qualifiers here at Moyvalley Hotel and Golf Resort and we very much look forward to welcoming all the competitors in what promises to be a great weekend of golf,” said David Rock, Director of Golf Moyvalley Hotel and Golf Resort
All PGA in Ireland members and registered assistants will be eligible to compete in the event. Six places in the field are open to amateur players nominated by the Golfing Union of Ireland. A further 12 spots will be filled by professional golfers selected by the European Tour.
Tulfarris Golf Resort’s Simon Thornton birdied the first extra hole to win last year’s inaugural Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Qualifier at Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort.
Neil O’Briain (Old Conna), Colm Moriarty (Glasson) and Cian McNamara (Monkstown GC) also claimed places in the field at Ballyliffin.
Competitors will be able to make use of an official practice day on Friday June 28.
In the case of a tie for the leading four players, a sudden death play-off will be used.

At Rosapenna (l-r) 2018 captain, Liam Breen; Michael McCumiskey(PGA in Ireland Regional Manager), Cian McNamara, Colm Moriarty, Simon Thornton, Neil O’Briain and John Casey (Director, Rosapenna Hotel and Golf Resort)

 

Nick Edmund takes Global Golf 4 Cancer campaign to Northern Ireland

March 6, 2019

Nick Edmund with Paul Hutchinson the men’s captain, Jackie Brown the ladies’s captain of the Lough Erne Golf Club and Leanne Rice (R) Head of Golf Marketing for Tourism Northern Ireland
(Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Nick Edmund is a man on a mission.
The 58 year old three-time head and neck cancer survivor wants the global golf community to ‘fly the flag’ and support cancer fighters worldwide.
In order to raise awareness of his ambitious ‘drive’ the barrister and golf writer – who also managed Faldo Design, Nick Faldo’s golf course design business for 15 years – is currently in the early stages of a 250-mile walk from Lough Erne Resort to Royal County Down.
The trek, complete with a set of golf clubs over his shoulder, will see Nick play the 4th hole at 18 Northern Ireland golf courses as he literally flies the flag for his Global-Golf4-Cancer charity.
“Through our distinctive Global-Golf4-Cancer ‘4-Flag’ and by encouraging golf clubs and event organisers to periodically fly this flag at the 4th hole of their courses we want to increase awareness and at the same time act as a catalyst for some imaginative fund raising opportunities,” said Nick who hopes the fact the 148th Open Championship is being played at Royal Portrush later this year will provide a fitting context for his awareness campaign.
Nick launched the 4-Flag campaign in March 2017 when he undertook a walk of almost 1,200 miles along the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland, carrying a set of golf clubs.

This month’s 250 mile walk is especially poignant for Nick as he has vivid memories of how The Faldo Championship course at Lough Erne Resort was conceived over a casual conversation in Spain some 15 years ago.
He added; “I recall well meeting the team that launched the Lough Erne Resort where they outlined their vision for a new golf course, and it’s been fabulous to see this vision being transformed into reality.

“My history with Lough Erne was probably one of the key reasons why we chose to commence our walk around Northern Ireland from there – plus some of the scenery throughout the golf course is out of this world.”

The epic Northern Ireland walk will be the third in a series undertaken by the Global-Golf4-Cancer founder to promote the campaign. With almost 1500 miles throughout the Wild Atlantic Way and Scotland already under his belt Nick plans to raise his flag on all six continents by the end of this year in pursuit of his global mission.
William Kirby General Manager of the Lough Erne Resort said: “We’re delighted and proud to be able to help tee-off this remarkable campaign and to host Nick at the start of his venture. Given Nick’s history with the Faldo Championship Course here – we were more than happy to provide our support and commit to flying the GG4C flag at our 4th hole during the year.”
Nick teed off his Northern Ireland campaign by playing four holes of The Faldo course at Lough Erne Resort on Saturday where he handed over a GG4C flag and then travelled from the 5-star resort to Killadeas via water taxi to begin his walk.
The Lough Erne to County Down campaign will highlight 18 of the country’s finest golfing venues from Lough Erne Resort to world famous Royal County Down at Newcastle and will include the likes of Castlerock, Portstewart, Royal Portrush, Malone, Royal Belfast and Ardglass.

Itinerary (Subject to change)
7 THU Play 4th@Newtownstewart GC then on to Strabane
8 FRI Strabane to Prehen, nr Derry;
9 SAT play 4th@Derry City GC Derry to Coleraine-Castlerock by train
10 SUN REST (possibly play 4th at Royal Portrush?)
STAGE 2: “Causeway Coast”- Castlerock to Carnlough
11 MON 4th@Castlerock GC then to Portstewart
12 TUES 4th@Portstewart GC then to Portrush
13 WED ((4th@Royal Portrush GC)) then via Giant’s Causeway and Bushmills to Ballintoy
14 THU Carrick Rope Bridge & the Dark Hedges picture opportunities; then to Ballycastle
15 FRI 4th @Ballycastle then to Cushendun
16 SAT Cushendun to Carnlough
17 SUN (St P’’s Day) REST
STAGE 3: “Belfast” – Lisburn to Bangor
18 MON Transport to Lisburn via 4th@Galgorm Castle GC
19 TUES 4th @Lisburn GC then to Malone area
20 WED 4th @Malone GC then to central Belfast
21 THU Titanic Exhibition 4th @Belvoir Park GC then via Shandon Pk GC? to central Belfast
22 FRI from Belfast to 4th@ Holywood via Knock GC? & Stormont Castle then to Culloden
23 SAT 4th@ Royal Belfast GC
24 SUN REST Leaf & Berry Cafe Jazz Bruch with SD Bells PM: To Bangor
STAGE 4: Clandeboye to County Down
25 MON 4th @Clandeboye GC then to Mount Stewart/Greyabbey
26 TUES Greyabbey (via Mount Stewart) to Kircubbin
27 WED Kircubbin via 4th @Kirkistown Castle GC then on to Portaferry
28 THU Portaferry to Ardglass
29 FRI 4th @Ardglass then to Tyrella
30 SAT Final walk from Tyrella to Newcastle
31 SUN 4th @Royal Co Down GC

PGA Fourball teams go low at Royal Portrush

March 2, 2019

The 18th at the Valley Course, Royal Portrush

Four pairs posted scores of six-under-par 65 to share first place at the PGA Northern Branch Fourball Betterball tournament played over the Valley Links at Royal Portrush.
The format has been added to the season’s schedule and a similar outing will be held at Lough Erne Resort on Tuesday, April 9. Given the positive response, there is a distinct possibility that a list of the events will be added into the new 2019-2020 fixture list.
The Enniskillen combination of Shaun Donnelly (Castle Hume) and David Allen (Lough Erne Resort) was first to set the target at 65 with Donnelly’s eagle three on the 16th hole being the deciding factor.
Gary Wardlow (Spa) and David Hughes (Massereene) were next in with 65 but will rue a bogey four on the 17th where both missed the green and failed to get up and down.
Moyola Park’s Gareth Shaw and Banbridge pro, Richard Kilpatrick, had a similar fate at the par three 15th hole which prevented them from taking the outright lead while the seasoned pair of Peter Hanna (Lurgan) and Paul Stevenson (Portadown) proved once again that age is no barrier to success.
Hanna is, of course, the PGA Captain Elect and the pair were anxious to make it known that their combined ages totted up to 113! Who said golf was a young man’s game.

PGA Northern Branch Fourball Betterball Tournament at Royal Portrush (Valley)
65 (-6) – S Donnelly (Castle Hume) & D Allen (Lough Erne Resort).
65 – G Wardlow (Spa) & D Hughes (Massereene).
65 – G Shaw (Moyola Pk) & R Kilpatrick (Banbridge).
65 – P Hanna (Lurgan) & P Stevenson (Portadown).
66 – G Graham (Groomsport DR) & C Lyall (Donaghadee).
66 – R Whitford (Knock) & N Grant (Blackwood).

Info courtesy of Tony McGee

In-form McElhinney claims victory at Ballycastle

February 20, 2019


Brian McElhinney (below) topped the leaderboard for the second time in a row as he strode away from the opposition in the Ping UGA tournament at Ballycastle.
The Evolve Golf Coaching pro cruised around the north Antrim course in four-under-par 67 to finish three shots clear of Gareth Graham (Groomsport Golf Centre).
In the ‘away fixture’ at Laytown & Bettystown, the Donegal man had to share the winner’s cheque with Chris Carvill but this time, Brian was out on his own after bagging seven birdies.
He opened strongly with a birdie at the first, getting up-and-down from five yards short of the green but he gave the advantage back when he missed the green with his approach at the fourth.
However, Brian bounced back at the next, chipping and putting for a three and he added another three at the par four seventh, when he holed from 15-feet to turn in two-under-par 34.
Back to back birdies at 11 and 12 saw him reach four under for his round but his birdie blitz came to a crashing halt at the par three 13th when he flew the green with his nine-iron approach and failed to get up and down.
He then swapped a birdie three at 16 with a three-putt bogey four on 17 before finishing with a flourish, chipping and putting again for birdie four and his round of 67.
Tommy Lyttle (Carrickfergus) posted a nett 41 points off a 10 handicap to win the amateur’s top award while Best Gross winner was local five-handicapper John Higgins on 33 points.
Carrickfergus players were very much to the fore as club professional James Orchin led in the winning team on 91 points with his amateur partners being Gary Robinson (5), Tommy Lyttle (10) and Ricky Coulter (15), all from the Carrickfergus club.

PING UGA at Ballycastle leaderboard

Leading Scores
Ping UGA Tournament at Ballycastle
Professionals: 67 (-4) – B McElhinney (Evolve Golf Coaching).
70 – G Graham (Groomsport DR).
71 – P Farrell (Laganview Golf Centre), W Ramsey (Knockbracken Golf Academy).
72 – G Shaw (Moyola Park), S Donnelly (Castle Hume).
73 – V Teague (Loughgall), R Whitford (Knock).
Amateurs: Nett, 41 pts – T Lyttle 10 (Carrickfergus).
39 – A Verner 4 (Portstewart).
38 – G Robinson 10 (Carrickfergus) … 3rd
38 – G Hamill 13 (Shandon Pk) … 4th.
Team: 91 pts – Pro J Orchin with G Robinson 10, T Lyttle 10 & R Coulter 15 (all Carrickfergus).

With thanks to Tony McGee

Carvill and McElhinney share top spot at Laytown and Bettystown Alliance event

February 12, 2019

Chris Carvill and Brian McElhinney shared top spot at the annual ‘away day’ outing of the Ulster Golfers’ Alliance at Laytown & Bettystown.
On a crisp day, the pair matched each other stroke for stroke to each post a level par 71.
Belvoir Park player Carvill was first to set the target, getting off to a solid start with back-to-back birdies at the fourth and fifth holes.
At the long fourth he was on the middle of the green with a drive and wedge and at the par four fifth, he was 70 yards short of the tee but chipped to two feet and rolled in the putt.
Carvill then missed the seventh green resulting in a bogey five and turned in one-under-par 34. He produced some steady golf on the back nine, recording eight pars with one dropped shot coming at the 16th hole, where he drove into rough. That saw him back in one over 37 for his regulation round of 71.

McElhinney also birdied the fourth hole with a drive and six iron to the green but then bogeyed both six and seven, missing the green left at both holes.
Like Carvill, the Evolve Golf Coaching man had eight pars on the back nine but he pencilled in birdie a three at the 11th, guiding his drive and gap wedge approach to one foot from the pin.
Four amateurs carded a net 38 points with Loughgall 16-handicapper Eddie Dormon best on a countback to take first place while Knock player James McVicker won the gross award on 73.
Allen Park professional Peter McCarroll and amateurs Billy Dobbin, Martin Dunlop (both Massereene) and Colin McKenna (Dunmurry) won the team prize on 84 points.
The next outing for the Ping Ulster Golfers Alliance members will be at Ballycastle on Tuesday, February 19.

Ping Ulster Golfers Alliance at Laytown & Bettystown leaderboard

Leading scores
Ping Ulster Golfers’ Alliance Tournament at Laytown & Bettystown
Professionals: 71 (Lvl) – C Carvill (Belvoir Pk), B McElhinney (Evolve Golf Coaching).
72 – {P Farrell (Laganview), N Grant (Blackwood).
73 – V Teague (Loughgall).
74 – N Kernaghan (Massereene), G Wardlow (Spa).
Amateurs: Nett, 38 pts – E Dormon 16 (Loughgall) … 1st;
38 – K Gilliland 16 (Castlerock) … 2nd;
38 – A Connelly 4 (Blackwood) … 3rd;
38 – M Dunlop 11 (Massereene) … 4th.
Gross, 73 – J McVicker +1 (Knock).
Team: 84 pts – Prof P McCarroll (Allen Pk) with amateurs B Dobbin 24 (Massereene), C McKenna 16 (Dunmurry) & M Dunlop 11 (Massereene).
With thanks to Tony McGee

Lowry and Fleetwood confirmed for DDF Irish Open Open at Lahinch

February 5, 2019


Shane Lowry will be joined on home soil this July by Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood, when the duo compete in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
Tournament host Paul McGinley is bringing the prestigious event to the iconic Lahinch Golf Club in County Clare for the first time from July 4-7.
For Lowry, it will be a much-anticipated homecoming after the popular Offaly player claimed his first European Tour title in three and a half years in the opening Rolex Series event of the 2019 campaign, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.
It’s 10 years since Shane claimed a remarkable breakthrough victory in his home event – when, as a 22-year-old amateur, he overcame Robert Rock in a play-off to become just the third amateur winner in European Tour history.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Lowry.
“Going to Lahinch – it’s in a beautiful part of Ireland, on a great golf course, and if the weather is good, honestly, you won’t get a nicer place in the world.
“I think Paul will do a great job, and I think as always Dubai Duty Free do a fantastic job. The fact that it’s part of the Rolex Series is amazing and I’m lucky enough and happy to be going there as a Rolex Series champion. I’d love to win another home title and hopefully, it will be this year.

“I don’t really remember much from 2009, but it obviously kick-started my career. It doesn’t feel like ten years, it feels like it’s gone a lot quicker than that. I’ve played in every Irish Open since, and every time I go back, it’s just special. I always say that Irish Open in Baltray was probably my greatest achievement to date and probably will always be, unless I can top it with a Major.”

Joining Lowry at Lahinch – which is consistently ranked inside the top 100 of the world’s greatest golf courses – is one of the game’s most popular stars, Englishman Fleetwood.
Fleetwood’s most recent victory also came in Abu Dhabi, in 2018, and the 28-year-old has since remained in the top 20 of the Official World Golf Ranking, come close to earning a maiden Major title at last year’s U.S. Open and played a starring role in Europe’s Ryder Cup victory at Le Golf National last September.
“I’m very excited about it because I missed it last year and I was really disappointed because golf in Ireland is one of those places I’ve always enjoyed playing, and to get that chance again this year, it’s going to be fun,” said Fleetwood.
“I’m very happy that I can support Paul. He’s always been great with me from my first few years on Tour, and always took the time to give me advice.
“Links golf, especially around that time of the year, we have such a great run of events, and it’s very important to just get that feel. We very rarely play that kind of golf throughout the year, so any chance you get to have a feel for it, and play in some slightly different shots, get a feel for how the ball reacts in the wind and the turf, I’m looking forward to it. It’s perfect preparation for The Open.”

Tickets for the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open are on sale at www.dubaidutyfreeirishopen.com and begin at €23 for Pro-Am Wednesday, with single tickets for Thursday or Friday costing €30 and day tickets for each weekend day costing €35 each. An adult season ticket, which covers five days of world class golf from Wednesday to Sunday, begins at a special price of just €110.
Children under 12 years of age are entitled to free entry when accompanied by an adult, day junior tickets for those between 12 and 17 years of age are €10 (€30 for a season ticket) while those aged between 18 and 21, as well as students with valid student cards and over 60s, can avail of a concession ticket – €20 for a day (€80 for a season).
Official Hospitality tickets are also available on the ticketing page, or alternatively contact the European Tour’s dedicated Hospitality Sales Team, who will be happy to answer any queries and discuss the various hospitality options, on hospitality@europeantour.com or +44 (0) 1344 840681.