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Golf Australia Express : Issue 4
THEFINAL day’s play of the 2010 Irish Open was enthralling to say the least. With no fewer that 14 changes at the top of the leaderboard, galleries were treated to fine shotmaking and low scores. In the end it was fitting a golfer by the name of Ross Fisher took out the prize at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club. But the 29-year- old Englishman needed a final round 65 to overcome a thrilling late challenge from home favourite Padraig Harrington. Fisher’s 18 under par matched the tournament record set nine years earlier by Colin Montgomerie. The win was Fisher’s fourth European Tour victory and earned him a cool €500,000. “It just feels great to come out on top against such a world- class field,” he said after the win in Killarney. Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño and Englishman Chris Wood shared third place while Australia’s Richard Green rounded out the top five. Irish fans and fans of the Irish are in for a real treat this week, and no doubt the locals will put politics aside and offer a rousing homecoming to honour back-to-back major triumphs for Northern Ireland. It’s sure to be an emotional week as British Open champ Darren Clarke and US Open champ Rory McIlroy peg it up in Ireland’s national open at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club. The two will receive enormous support from the typically vocal and appreciative Irish golf community. But the festive atmosphere won’t rest there. Joining Clarke and McIlroy are two other Irish major champions, Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell. Of these lads, only Harrington (2007) has held the Irish Open title aloft, and with a good result on this course last year—and the motivation to reinstate his name as the premier Irish golfer—we reckon Padraig’s a kind of sure (to be sure) bet. (Sorry about that.) OTG Sergio Garcia became the youngest winner in the history of the Irish Open in 1999, aged 19 years and 176 days, while Sam Torrance’s 1995 win made him the oldest champion (41 years and 319 days). PEEK THE With Clarke, McIlroy, Harrington and McDowell in action at killarney the one sure bet of the week—rain, hail or unlikely shine—is that last year’s 82,000 attendance will be smashed this week. (Or is that mashed?) LAST TIME AROUND LOCAL LADS IRISH OPEN FUN FACT PADDY POWER July 28-31, 2011 Killarney Golf and Fishing Club, Co. Kerry, IRE Purse: €1,500,000 Defending Champ: Ross Fisher (ENG) PUTT OF GOLD What’s happening on the European Tour this week