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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Irish Eyes Are Still Smiling...

Because the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is going to be played despite the pandemic. This is a Rolex Series event, so it's a big deal for it to be played -- even if it is four months later than usual.

Defending champion Jon Rahm

Like so many events in this odd year, the Irish Open had to change venue in order to be played this year. The new venue -- for this year only -- is Galgorm Castle Golf Club, a course regularly featured on the Challenge Tour so many of the players will likely be familiar with it.

There is one downer for the Irish fans: Defending champion Jon Rahm won't be there. (Rahm has actually won this event twice, in 2017 and 2019.) I'm guessing the one-two punch of the pandemic and Winged Foot just made the trip too demanding for him.

But that didn't stop Shane Lowry, who is making his first ET start since the restart. Lowry won this event as an amateur back in 2009 and he'll be heading up the field this year. I can't help but feel that, regardless of how tough the weather might be, this event will still be a relief after the grind of Winged Foot. I'm sure his presence will ease any disappointment the Irish fans might feel over Rahm's absence!

Also in the field -- and my favorite to win this week -- is George Coetzee, the South African player who won Sunshine Tour and ET events back-to-back earlier this month, as well as posting a T3 in Portugal last week. It's hard to bet against a run when a good player like Coetzee is having it!

GC is covering this event starting at 8am ET Thursday morning. We'll be getting a five-hour window to watch it, and what could be better than spending a few pleasant hours viewing the Northern Ireland countryside?

1 comment:

  1. Song Yi Ahn won her 2nd career KLPGA title at the Fantom Classic, while Chang Woo Lee prevailed on the 4th sudden death playoff hole to claim the KPGA's Hyundai Maritime KJ Choi Invitational for his first career win on tour.