Irish Open

Live coverage of the first round from Carton House

John O'Sullivan Thu, Jun 27
 
LIVE: Irish Open

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  • 11:04
    Welcome to a wet and windy Carton House for the opening round of the Irish Open. It's a traditional Irish summer's day really. John O'Sullivan here and I'll be trying to keep you up to date with what's happening on and off the golf course. 
  • 11:09

    There was a sizeable gallery in situ at 7.50am to watch the Carton House touring profressional Shane Lowry, world number two Rory McIlroy and the great Dane Thomas Bjorn tee it up on the 10th, their first hole.  

    At that stage there was no rain but it's absolutely hammering down now. Lowry started with a bogey but recovered with three successive birdies from the 13th to the 15th holes and then got up and down for another at the par five, 18th to turn in three under par.

  • 11:12
    Despite the exhortations of the gallery, McIlroy's game, or rather more pointedly his driving was causing problems. Back to back bogeys on the 11th and 12th were briefly arrested by a birdie on the 13th but his misbehaving driver saw him pull his tee shot on the 15th way left. He recovered to make par but on the next hole was forced to hole a five foot par putt, after catching a bunker off his drive.
  • 11:17
    He held onto the right apron on his tee shot to the 17th - the organisers have created an amphitheatre with stands round the par three, ala Scottsdale - and would make par. The Irish spectators will have to go some to match raucous atmosphere in Scottsdale, Arizona. There are a couple of handicaps. It's raining and the Heineken beer tents aren't open at 9.20am.  
  • 11:18

    There were a couple of hundred hardy souls who grabbed seats, in stands that accommodate 1,500 specators.

  • 11:20
    The Irish Open has been plagued by poor weather in recent times - despite the brilliant galleries at Royal Portrush - it rained for five days of that week - and the last time it was staged at Carton House, the tournament had to endure poor weather.
  • 11:23
    McIlroy's was fortunate to find his tee shot on the 18th after he carved it appreciably right into the heavy rough. He played a marvellous recovery shot but caught  45 yard chip shot, heavy, and failed to make the putting surface. He eventually stood over a six foot, par putt, which grazed the side of the cup but stayed above ground.
  • 11:23
    His body language bespoke a player who is fighing his game and on this particular day, the miserable weather.
  • 11:28
    Lowry in marked contrast looked relaxed, his game in rude health, as he recorded a fifth birdie at the par five, fourth, his 13th hole, to join England's Chris Paisley at the top of the leaderboard on four under.
  • 11:32
    Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley and fellow Dubliner Peter Lawrie are a couple of shots back on two under. Lawrie's managed four birdies in 14 holes since opening with a brace of bogeys on the 10th.

    It wasn't just some of the players who were having problems with the scoring as the European Tour's live leaderboard was, eh, attacked by some rabbits.
  • 11:35
    Well it's more accurate to say that the fibre optic cable that was carrying the information proved attractive to the bunnies based on an animal fat that they put on the cable to waterproof it.

    I'm not sure what effect it had an the rabbits but there were a lot of grumpy people in the media centre.
  • 11:35
    Happily the problem has been resolved and the live scoring is back up and running.
  • 11:40
    The tented village might be described as bijou in estate.agent terms but there is enough to keep the.punters interested.
  • 11:41
    Given the conditions, umbrellas and waterproofs are proving to be quite popular in the official merchandising tent.
  • 11:46

    Supporters of Lowry and McIlroy are a hardy lot because they have stuck manfully to their positions in the portable gallery.

    The good news for any of you travelling to the tournament is that the rain has eased appreciably but it's due back bout 3.0 this afteroon.

  • 11:50
    Limerick's former South of Ireland champion Cian McNamara, now a club pro,  is three under with four holes to play.
  • 11:52
    McIlroy gave himself a chance at the par four, fifth, hitting a low iron, stinger, under the wind but can't convert his 10 foot birdie putt. Lowry gets up and down from the sand.
  • 11:55
    INTERESTING FACT NO.1: The last time the Irish Open was staged at Carton House was 2006 when it chucked it down, requiring a Monday finish. The winner was Thomas Bjorn, who is currently two under for his opening round, playing alongside Lowry (-4) and McIlroy (+2)
  • 12:12

    The Irish Open was also staged at Carton House in 2005 when Welshman, Stephen Dodd won. He's currently level par with a couple of holes to play. The umbrellas are still up but the rain has definitely eased.

  • 12:34
     Lowry now leads the tournament on his own at five under, playing the ninth, his 18th hole.
  • 12:36
    Took a quick sabbatical from the blog to visit the tented village where the queues for food are long enough. There is one unit, called the Hereford Steakhouse from which a picture of former Shannon, Bruff, Munster, Ireland and Lions legend John Hayes' face beams down. Apparently 'Bull burgers' are the speciality.  
  • 12:38
    Umbrellas cost €39. They're selling a few.
  • 12:40
    Lowry's in with a five under par, 67. McIlroy closes with a birdie for a 74, while Bjorn, the 2006 champion signs for a 68.
  • 12:41
    Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell, playing together, are due to start in 10 minutes.
  • 12:47
    A view from the media centre
    A view from the media centre
  • 12:50

    Peter Lawrie bogeys five and six en route to signing for a level par 72.

  • 12:57

    Limerick born Cian McNamara, the club pro at Monkstown Golf Club in Cork, has posted a superb four under, 68, a round that include five birdies and just a single dropped shot, at the fifth.

  • 13:14
    Wondering why so few people in the picture? Shane Lowry is in the interview room
  • 13:21
    Shane Lowry on the support he received from the gallery: "Yeah, it's brilliant.  The crowd from home are great and I'm sure there's going to be quite a few coming up tomorrow and for the rest of the week.  It's great to have them here and you know, it's a pleasure to be out there dealing with people from home cheering you on. 
    "it's really a privilege to be able to play on my home golf course, stay in my own house and have all of my family and friends up home to watch me.  What more could a professional golfer want."
  • 13:23
    Lowry, who won the tournament in 2009 at as amateur at Baltray, maintains that his goals this week, are completely different this week. Four years ago he went to play in the tournament, this week he wants to win it.
  • 14:08
     Right we're back in action, following a short interlude for sustenance.
  • 14:11
    Graeme McDowell one under after five holes, his playing partner, Padraig Harrington is one over following two bogeys and a birdie. The third member of the group, defending champion, Jamie Donaldson is one under.
  • 14:33
    The rain is back with a vengeance.
  • 14:35
    Special request for a leaderboard.

    -5 Lowry
    -4 Bjorn, Casey, Dodt, McNamara,
    -3 Goya, Hansen, Larrazabel
  • 14:39

    Cian McNamara following his 68. "A very enjoyable day. I just want to do a nice bit of practise this afternoon and try and do myself justice again tomorrow. That's all I'm trying to do. I'm not going to panic or put myself under pressure. I'm not setting any goals or anything.


    "
    I spent a full day with Eddie Doyle on Tuesday and was hitting it quite well on the range. I didn't want to look around but I was like, I can play here.  And the only goal of the day was just do justice for yourself when you're standing up and hitting the shots."

  • 14:44
    Darren: Gareth Maybin shot a one under, 71
  • 14:48
    A view of 18th green and grandstand
    A view of 18th green and grandstand
  • 14:52
    Graeme McDowell is two under after eight holes, Padraig Harrington, one over while defending champion, Jamie Donaldson is level par.
  • 14:54
  • 14:57
    England's Graham Storm, who is staying with Shane Lowry this week, has obviously picked up a few course pointers as he's birdied three of the first five holes, having started on the 10th.
  • 14:58
    Michael Hoey is two under after eight holes.
  • 15:02
    Paul McGinley (-2): "Today got me a bit by surprise. I'm kind of glad to shoot two under par. I didn't expect the weather to be that tough, and the course played really tough, because it was cold as well and the ball was not flying through. Some of the holes played really long into the breeze; it was wet and cold and it was a real challenge. I'm pleased to have shot 70 and we'll just assess it tomorrow and take it from there."
  • 15:09
    Can not blame the rabbits for this one but the WiFi has gone down.
  • 15:15
    Brian Is Ian polter in it
  • 15:16

    No Brian, Ian Poulter is not playing.

  • 15:18

    The rain has stopped again.......for now.

  • 15:28
  • 15:31
    Mark Warren has just had four birdies in a row to move to four under after nine holes.
  • 15:43
    There are about 72 brave souls in the grandstand beside the 18th
  • 15:57
    Mo Some trivia- the only golfer to win the Irish open this century and last?
  • 15:58
    Mo is it Colin Montgomerie
  • 16:00
    Right the WiFi's back. Goodness knows for how long. Michael Hoey is three under after 12 holes, Padraig Harrington is level, Alan Dunbar and Simon Thornton are one over, Darren Clarke is three over.
  • 16:09
    There have been a couple of eagles at the driveable par four, 13th: Sweden's Oscar Floren and Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark. A useless bit of trivia. Kjeldsen once played with Munster, Ireland and Lions secondrow Paul O'Connell in the Pro-Am for the Irish Open in Adare Manor Resort and Golf Club. He gave the rugby player a chipping lesson at one point but otherwise confessed to being very impressed with the seven hadicapper.
  • 16:12
  • 16:23
    There are unconfirmed sightings of a sun.
  • 16:26
    There is always time for a spot of fishing
    There is always time for a spot of fishing
  • 16:30

    The aforementioned Swede Floren has joined Lowry at the top of the leaderboard on five under with four holes to play. 

  • 16:37
    Paul what is the course record to give us an idea how much the weather is playing a part
  • 16:38
    Paul: Course record is 66, held by four players including the 2006 champion and the man on four under after today's round, Thomas Bjorn
  • 16:39
    Hoey now four under with three to play.
  • 16:46
    The only player to complete the 18 holes without a bogey is France's Anthony Snobeck. He had 17 pars and a birdie at the 11th in his 71.
  • 16:49
    He is ranked 898th in the world, has two wins on the Challenge Tour, is six foot three inches tall, is 185th in the Race to Dubai. He grew up next to the Magny Cours racetrack in France and his father was a famous rally driver.
  • 16:56
    Floren now six under and outright leader with two holes to play.
  • 17:13
    Floren is playing the 18th. Six under. Four birdies and an eagle
  • 17:25
    Michael Hoey has joined Lowry as the leading Irishman after signing for a five under, 67.
  • 17:28
    Just a note about Saturday at Carton House. The second test between Australia and the Lions will be shown live on the big screen in the tented village. It's an 11.05 kick-off.
  • 17:32
    Floren has taken route 66 - the old ones are the best - to the top of the leaderboard. The Swede is the second player to complete a bogey free round.
  • 17:32
  • 17:38
    Please no more 'Floren on the money,' references! And yes we know it's spelt differently.
  • 17:45
    Sports people with a money theme to their surname.

    We'll start you off

    Pat Cash (tennis)
    Rob Penney (rugby)
    Curt Schilling (baseball)


  • 17:47
    Harrington (-1) birdied the last for a 71, the same mark as McDowell who bogeyed the 17th while the third member of the group, defending champion Jamie Donaldson birdied three of the last four holes for a 69.
  • 18:16
    Right a last Floren reference before signing off for the day.

    Oscar Floren leads the Irish Open on SIX under par.

    The English Florin was first minted in 1344 at the behest of Edward 111 and it was worth SIX schillings.

    The Irish Floirin (there's a couple of fadas in there) was minted in 1928 and in circulation until 1968.

    LEADERBOARD

    Oh and the rain's back.

    Thank you for your company, today. We'll be back bright and early in the morning for day two of the Irish Open. Don't forget to read Irish Times golf correspondent Philip Reid for the stories behind the headlines.