2018 Irish Open Day One

It's the opening day at Ballyliffin where Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are among the star attractions

Johnny Watterson Thu, Jul 5
LIVE: 2018 Irish Open Day One

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  • 10:46


    -4: Robert Rock (9)

    -3: Ryan Fox (10), Adrien Saddier (10), Ashley Chesters (10)

    -2: Scott Jamieson (11), Adrian Otaegui (9), Dylan Frittelli (8), Andy Sullivan (8), Sam Horsfield (4), Erik Van Rooyen (5), Marc Warren (4)

    Irish in action: -1 Pádraig Harrington (8), E Graeme McDowell (8), +1 Cian McNamara (3), +1 Simon Thornton (3), +3 Ruaidhrí McGee (3), Cormac Sharvin (12.30), Neil O'Briain (12.40), Gavin Moynihan (12.50), Paul Dunne (1.10), Rory McIlroy (1.20), Shane Lowry (1.30), Darren Clarke (1.50), Paul McGinley (2.0), Colm Moriarty (2.0)

  • 10:48

    Wecome to Ballyliffin on a glorious day. We don't get to say that too often. The Irish Open is already under way in Donegal sunshine.  Here's the tee times for the morning sessiions where players have started at the first and 10th tees.

    (Irish and British unless stated)
     Mark Foster, Pedro Oriol (Esp), Ashun Wu (Chn)
    07:40  David Drysdale, Jens Dantorp (Swe), James Morrison
    07:50  Chris Hanson, Grégory Havret (Fra), Henric Sturehed (Swe)
    08:00  Adrien Saddier (Fra), Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha), Ashley Chesters  08:10  Matthew Baldwin, Andrea Pavan (Ita), Benjamin Hebert (Fra)
    08:20  Laurie Canter, David Horsey, Robert Rock
    08:30  Stephen Gallacher, Jason Scrivener (Aus), Oliver Fisher
    08:40  Marcus Fraser (Aus), Steven Brown, Nino Bertasio (Ita)
    08:50  Peter Hanson (Swe), Matthieu Pavon (Fra), Scott Hend (Aus)
    09:00  Soomin Lee (Kor), Brandon Stone (Rsa), Jacques Kruyswijk (Rsa)
    09:10  Ricardo Gouveia (Por), Sam Horsfield, Wade Ormsby (Aus)
    09:20  Nico Geyger (Chi), Renato Paratore (Ita), Charlie Ford (Eng)
    09:30  Ruaidhrí McGee, Jason Norris (Aus), Marc Warren

    10TH TEE
     Ryan Evans, Fabrizio Zanotti (Par), Marcus Kinhult (Swe)
    07:40  Scott Jamieson, Brett Rumford (Aus), Matthew Southgate
    07:50  Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel), Ryan Fox (Nzl), Jorge Campillo (Esp)
    08:00  Yusaku Miyazato (Jpn), Mikko Ilonen (Fin), Adrian Otaegui (Esp)
    08:10  Mikko Korhonen (Fin), Dylan Frittelli (Rsa), Andy Sullivan
    08:20  Graeme McDowell, Jon Rahm (Esp), Rafa Cabrera Bello (Esp)
    08:30  Pádraig Harrington, Chris Wood, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha)
    08:40  Jamie Donaldson, Eddie Pepperell, Lucas Bjerregaard (Den)
    08:50  Søren Kjeldsen (Den), Jordan Smith, Shubhankar Sharma (Ind)
    09:00  Carlos Pigem (Esp), Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin), Jinho Choi (Kor)
    09:10  Edoardo Molinari (Ita), Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa), Alvaro Quiros (Esp)
    09:20  Bradley Neil,  Cian McNamara,  Simon Thornton
     Gavin Green (Mas), David Lipsky (USA), Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra)

  • 10:51
    Defending champion John Rahm has doubled his 9th hole to put him at +1. A little growl from the Spaniard. He was -1 on the tee box.
  • 10:53


    12:30  Marcel Siem (Ger), Paul Waring, Richard Sterne (Rsa)
    12:40  Pablo Larrazábal (Esp), Thomas Detry (Bel), Lee Slattery
    12:50  Austin Connelly (Can), Dean Burmester (RSA),  Gavin Moynihan
     Peter Uihlein (USA), Julian Suri (USA), Haotong Li (Chn)
    13:10  Paul Dunne, Alexander Levy (Fra), Matt Wallace
    13:20  Matthew Fitzpatrick, Thorbjørn Olesen (Den),  Rory McIlroy
     Shane Lowry, Lee Westwood, Thomas Pieters (Bel)
    13:40  Robert Karlsson (Swe), Russell Knox, Alexander Björk (Swe)
    13:50  Darren Clarke, Thomas Bjørn (Den), Danny Willett
    14:00  David Howell, Thongchai Jaidee (Tha),  Paul McGinley
     SSP Chawrasia (Ind), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño (Esp), George Coetzee (Rsa)
    14:20  Scott Fernandez (Esp), Richie Ramsay, Hideto Tanihara (Jpn)
    14:30  Zander Lombard (Rsa), Felipe Aguilar (Chi), Raphaël Jacquelin (Fra)

     Daniel Brooks, Sébastien Gros (Fra),  Cormac Sharvin
     Oliver Farr, Jeff Winther (Den),  Neil O’Briain
     Richard Bland, Andrew Dodt (Aus), Joakim Lagergren (Swe)
    13:00  Andres Romero (Arg), Grégory Bourdy (Fra), Jeunghun Wang (Kor)
    13:10  Romain Wattel (Fra), Lasse Jensen (Den), Chris Paisley
    13:20  Matthew Nixon, Darren Fichardt (Rsa), Nacho Elvira (Esp)
    13:30  Thomas Aiken (Rsa), Bradley Dredge, Matteo Manassero (Ita)
    13:40  Daniel Im (USA), Trevor Immelman (Rsa), Justin Walters (Rsa)
    13:50  Connor Syme, Adam Bland (Aus), Callum Shinkwin
    14:00  Clément Sordet (Fra), Sam Brazel (Aus),  Colm Moriarty
     Rak hyun Cho (Kor), Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa), Haydn Porteous (Rsa)
    14:20  Chase Koepka (USA), Matthias Schwab (Aut), Julien Guerrier (Fra)
    14:30  Lorenzo Gagli (Ita), Maximilian Kieffer (Ger), Aaron Rai
  • 10:55

    "Jon Rahm eyes second Irish Open win as he returns to defend title"

    That's the headline in the Irish Times, a piece from Golf Correspondent Philip Reid. Here's Philip's report.


  • 10:56
  • 11:01
    Harrington (-1) in the heavy rough at 9. There's a discussion taking place with a marshall. Harrington picks up his ball and drops it. Line of sight issue we think with the hospitality intervening. What a break for Harrington. He hits it an murmurs "miles right." But it is not. He's okay and has a putt.
  • 11:05

    McDowell is +1 thro 9 holes. Harrington hits his putt to 4 feet on the 10th. Rahm is still growling a little bit at odds with the course.

  • 11:08

    Conditions in Donegal are pretty good. There is a breeze as expected but nothing drastic and the sun is out. Probably won't get much better than this.

  • 11:11

    Rahm in more trouble on the first, his 10th. It's another double bogey from him, this time a long bogey putt  and a short bogey putt befuddling him. That's him falling back to +3.

  • 11:13


    -5: Robert Rock (11)

    -4: Adrien Saddier (12)

    -3: Ryan Fox (12), Ashley Chesters (12)

    -2: Scott Jamieson (12), Adrian Otaegui (11), Dylan Frittelli (11), Jason Scrivener (10), Soren Kjeldsen (8), Sam Horsfield (7), Erik Van Rooyen (7), Marc Warren (6)

    Irish in action: -1 Pádraig Harrington (9), E Cian McNamara (5), Simon Thornton (5), +1 Graeme McDowell (10), +2 Ruaidhrí McGee (6), Cormac Sharvin (12.30), Neil O'Briain (12.40), Gavin Moynihan (12.50), Paul Dunne (1.10), Rory McIlroy (1.20), Shane Lowry (1.30), Darren Clarke (1.50), Paul McGinley (2.0), Colm Moriarty (2.0)

  • 11:16
  • 11:19
    Yes that's Harrington -1 (9) - in trouble off the tee again. He probably won't get a free drop this time which means a hack out of the heavy, heavy rough.
  • 11:21
  • 11:24

    Harrington saves his par on the 10th. In the rough, in a bunker and up and down for par. That raises a loud roar from the Ballyliffin crowd

  • 11:27

    McDowell has just carded his fifth bogey of the day to fall back to +2 and Harrington finds the fairway off the tee at 11.

  • 11:27
  • 11:29

    The 7462 yards of prime links of makes Ballyliffin the longest course in the history of the Irish Open. McDowell's group is on the clock.

  • 11:31

    "It's just about keeping the ball in play. It is very well bunkered so it's about threading the ball thro bunkers. You have to keep the ball in play and miss on the right side of the greens. Just stay out of the bunkers." - McDowell before play began this morning.

  • 11:36

    When the Northwest was hosted at Ballyliffin in 2004 only five players finished under par. It's a monster.

  • 11:39

    Defending champion Rahm finally sets up a birdie chance with a pitch to eight feet.

    Frenchman Adrien Saddier and Robert Rock go to -5 to lead the field.

  • 11:41

    Rahm (60th) misses his birdie putt on 12 to claw back a shot and repair some of the damage of his two earlier double bogeys. He stays on +3.

  • 11:43

    Harrington (-1) on his 12th hits a hybrid off the tee and splits the fairway. This hole is a 427 yard par 4. Satisfied grin on Harrington's face.

  • 11:45

    "I started out nicely had some good chances early on. Then a I hit a wild tee shot on 18 and on the first. I know generally where the misses are due to the experience of being there. When it comes to links you can't keep it in order all the time so you've got to use your imagination." - Harrington

  • 11:47
  • 11:49


    -5: Adrien Saddier (14), Robert Rock (12)

    -4: Ryan Fox (15), Marc Warren (8)

    -3: Scott Jamieson (15), Ashley Chester (14), Adrian Otaegui (14), Dylan Frittelli (13), Soren Kjeldson (10), Sam Horsfield (9), Erik Van Rooyen (8)

    Irish in action: -1 Pádraig Harrington (11), Ruaidhrí McGee (8), Simon Thornton (7), +2 Graeme McDowell (12), +3 Cian McNamara (7), Cormac Sharvin (12.30), Neil O'Briain (12.40), Gavin Moynihan (12.50), Paul Dunne (1.10), Rory McIlroy (1.20), Shane Lowry (1.30), Darren Clarke (1.50), Paul McGinley (2.0), Colm Moriarty (2.0)

  • 11:50

    By the way Ryan Fox is in a group in second place on -4. Fox is the son of former All Black outhalf Grant Fox. He was a member of the New Zealand  team that won the inaugral Rugby World cup  in 1987.

  • 11:53

    "Every true links course you got to see a rock in the middle of the ocean from," says Rich Beem. True that.

  • 11:57

    Harrington with a mid range birdie putt on 12 just catches the edge of the cup and curves around and stays out. That's a missed opportunity and he stays on -1 with Saddier on -5 leading the field.

  • 12:00

    On the par five 13th G-Mac has an eagle putt. He stops it two feet from the hole and sinks the birdie putt to get one back and go to +1. Defending champion Rahm does much the same for +2.

  • 12:05

    Scores on the doors -

    1. Robert Fox (-6)

    2. Ryan Fox, Adrien Saddier, Dylan Fritteli, Marc Warren (-4)

    6. Scott jamieson, Jorge Campillo, Ashley Chesters, Adrian Otaegui, Sam Horsfield (-3)

  • 12:17

    Harrington looking for his second eagle of the day rolls his putt up to three feet on the par five 13th. That's an easy par from him. He takes another shot back to go to -2. On to the 14th par 3 and he gets over the bunkers and has a putt.

  • 12:21
  • 12:23


    -6: Robert Rock (14)

    -4: Ryan Fox (17), Adrien Saddier (16), Ashley Chesters (16), Dylan Frittelli (16), Marc Warren (10)

    -3: Scott Jamieson (F:69), Jorge Campillo (17), Adrian Otaegui (16), Soren Kjeldson (11), Sam Horsfield (11), Erik Van Rooyen (10)

    Irish in action: -2 Pádraig Harrington (14), E Ruaidhrí McGee (10), E Simon Thornton (9), +1 Graeme McDowell (14), +3 Cian McNamara (9), Cormac Sharvin (12.30), Neil O'Briain (12.40), Gavin Moynihan (12.50), Paul Dunne (1.10), Rory McIlroy (1.20), Shane Lowry (1.30), Darren Clarke (1.50), Paul McGinley (2.0), Colm Moriarty (2.0)

  • 12:25
    In less than 10 minutes the afternoon players will start their rounds. Rory McIlroy is off at 1.20pm with Paul Dunne just in front of him at 1.10pm. Shane Lowry is in the group behind McIlroy. That's Dunne, McIlroy and Lowry all off between 1.10pm and 1.30pm.
  • 12:29
  • 12:31

    McDowell on the 16th hole is now level par. It's a 176 yard par 3 and a wedge for G-Mac way, way down hill.

    Nice way to finish his 18, Ryan Fox drops a long birdie to go to -5 and is the leader in the clubhouse.

  • 12:35

    If Harrington could find another birdie to go to -3, that would put him among the top 10 leaders. He's on the par 4, 15th with a birdie putt.

  • 12:37

    Harrington sinks his 12 foot putt on 15. That's two birdies in the last three holes and moves the Dubliner moves to -3 and up into a tie for 7th.

  • 12:43
    Harrington hits a beautiful iron that runs out on the green to about four feet from the pin on the par three 16th hole raising another roar from the home crowd. This is a great chance to move to -4
  • 12:47
  • 12:52

    Birdie putt  from about five feet on 17 for G-Mac. He gets it and goes to minus figures. Harrington rolls in his birdie on 7 (his 16th) and another great roar goes up from the home crowd. What a back nine from Harrington, who has two holes to play and sits on -4 and joint fourth place with Chesters and Saddier a shot behind the clubhouse leader Fox.

  • 12:54
  • 12:54
    Keep out of the way of golf balls Philip.
  • 12:58

    Scores on the leader doors -

    1. Ryan Fox -5 (67)

    2. Adrien Saddier, Ashley Chesters, Robert Rock PADRAIG HARRINGTOM, Sam Horsfield -4

    7. Scott Jamieson, Adrian Otaegui, Yusaku Miyazato, Dylan Fritelli -3

  • 13:01

    Harrington finds a bunker on 17 and has to go out sideways and is unable to advance the ball forwards. His challenge is to get down in two from the fairway. He pitches. It looks excellent. It is. He has a 4 foot putt for par. A great recovery if he can make his and stay at -4.

  • 13:06

    Harrington nails his put on 17 and remains on -4. A big smile from him. He knows what a good save that was after finding the bunker off the tee.

    McDowell on 18 flies it past the cup for his birdie effort. His short effort back drops for par and he ends his first round in red figures and -1.

    Rahm drops his final first round putt from 8 feet and ends his day on +2

  • 13:08

    "I love it. It reminds me quite a lot of home. Everyone is enjoying it. I'm certainly one of them. I took the bunkers on and played short irons into the greens. A good day all round," club house leader Ryan Fox.

  • 13:09
  • 13:12

    Paul Dunne has hit his first ball from the first hole. Big shout of fore. It goes left for the Greystones' player. A nervous start but the ball has bounced in the rough.

  • 13:16


    -5: Ryan Fox (F:67)

    -4: Adrien Saddier (F:68), Ashley Chesters (F:68), Robert Rock (17), Pádraig Harrington (17), Sam Horsfield (14)

    -3: Scott Jamieson (F:69), Yusaku Miyazato (F:69), Adrian Otaegui (F:69), Dylan Frittelli (F:69), Matthieu Pavon (15), Jinho Choi (14), Marc Warren (12)

    Irish in action: -4 Pádraig Harrington (17), -1 Graeme McDowell (F:71), E Simon Thornton (12), E Ruaidhrí McGee (12), E Neil O'Briain (1), +1 Cormac Sharvin (2), +4 Cian McNamara (12), Gavin Moynihan (12.50), Paul Dunne (1.10), Rory McIlroy (1.20), Shane Lowry (1.30), Darren Clarke (1.50), Paul McGinley (2.0), Colm Moriarty (2.0)

  • 13:20

    Harrington (-4) rolling back the years is safely on the green of his final hole. It's a birdie chance, which he minted from the rough. Good second shot and very controlled. He lines up the putt, goes through his routine and it just skates past the cup. That's a safe par and he ends his first round in a very healthy -4.

    McIlroy is on the first tee.

  • 13:22

    It's Rory McIlroy's last year as Irish Open host with Paul McGinley doing it next year. He hits a fabulous opening tee shot way down the fairway. He's off.

  • 13:24
    Official: Harrington opens his Irish Open with a 68, one shot of the lead of Ryan Fox.
  • 13:26

    That's a great recovery by Dunne from his opening tee shot. He hits the green and rolls in the putt for birdie. He is -1 after the first.

  • 13:30

    We've unlocked the door and let Johnny out for some food and a bit of air, but not too much - he'll be back soon.

    In the meantime it's Ruaidhrí Croke here with you for the next while.

    Glorious sunshine is bathing Ballyliffin today and bringing out the very best in what is a stunning stretch of Irish coastline.

    Two people who didn't enjoy it too much today were Rafa Cabrera-Bello and defending champion Jon Rahm who shot +4 and +2 respectively.

    However, Pádraig Harrington certainly enjoyed himself with his round of 68 for -4 while Rory McIlroy has just fired his approach at the first in to six feet. That's for an opening birdie.

  • 13:35


    -5: Ryan Fox (F:67)

    -4: Adrien Saddier (F:68), Ashley Chesters (F:68), Robert Rock (F:68), Pádraig Harrington (F:68), Matthieu Pavon (16), Sam Horsfield (15)

    -3: Scott Jamieson (F:69), Yusaku Miyazato (F:69), Adrian Otaegui (F:69), Dylan Frittelli (F:69), Wade Ormsby (15), Marc Warren (14)

    Irish in action: -4 Pádraig Harrington (F;68), -1 Graeme McDowell (F:71), Ruaidhrí McGee (13), -1 Paul Dunne (1), E Simon Thornton (14), E Rory McIlroy (1), +1 Neil O'Briain (3), +1 Gavin Moynihan (2), +2 Cormac Sharvin (3), +4 Cian McNamara (14), Shane Lowry (1.30), Darren Clarke (1.50), Paul McGinley (2.0), Colm Moriarty (2.0)

  • 13:37

    McIlroy's birdie putt at the first slides left and hangs on the edge but doesn't drop. He goes to the second with a par.

    Up ahead at that hole it's been an eventful start for Paul Dunne who birdied the first but then pulled his tee shot at the second out of bounds. After playing three off the tee he's put his fourth shot to about 25 feet and is now staring a double bogey in the face.

    Back on the first tee Shane Lowry has just got underway.

  • 13:39

    If you're wondering about the fortunes of any particular player you can use the 'Contact Us' button at the top of the blog to get in touch and I'll fill you in.

    Alongside McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick and Thorbjorn Olesen also both missed good birdie chances at the first while the Dane has just compounded that by following Dunne out of bounds at the second.

  • 13:43

    It's a double for Dunne at the second after that drive out of bounds and he slips back to +1.

    Back at the first Lowry has opened with a par.

  • 13:48

    McIlroy has struck another perfect iron shot down the second fairway and found the heart of the green with his approach where he will face 30 feet or so for birdie.

    If he's to have a chance this week it's all going to come down to his putting. From his last start on the PGA Tour - the Travelers Championship - a fairly jarring statistic emerged.

    In strokes gained tee to green McIlroy was first in the field.

    In strokes gained putting he was ... stone dead last.

    Now that is some difference. McIlroy missed 17 putts inside 10 feet. If he'd made just seven of those he would have won.

    It's fairly obvious what the problem is.

  • 13:51

    It's another iron off the tee for Dunne at the third and again it's wild. On the first he went way left, on the second way right and on the third now he's also gone left into the hay. It all depends on the lie in there.

    Back at the second green McIlroy's long birdie putt comes up six feet short and leaves him work to do to save his par.

  • 13:55

    McIlroy's first tester of the week is rolled into the middle and he remains level par through two.

    Back down the fairway Lowry sends a lovely long iron shot into the heart of the green.

    He spoke earlier in the week about how tough he has found it to play both the PGA Tour and the European Tour this season and his form has suffered. However, three good rounds on a really tough course in France last week have done a lot for his confidence and, after a break next week, he has a run of five weeks in a row, starting with the Open Championship. A win may not be too far away for the Offalyman.

  • 14:02

    What a putt from Lowry!

    He's gone ahead and knocked that long birdie effort in at the second and is now up to -1.


    -5: Ryan Fox (F:67)

    -4: Adrien Saddier (F:68), Ashley Chesters (F:68), Robert Rock (F:68), Pádraig Harrington (F:68), Matthieu Pavon (17)

    -3: Scott Jamieson (F:69), Yusaku Miyazato (F:69), Adrian Otaegui (F:69), Dylan Frittelli (F:69), Jinho Choi (17), Sam Horsfield (16), Wade Ormsby (16), Marc Warren (15), Pablo Larrazabal (4)

    Irish in action: -4 Pádraig Harrington (F:68), -1 Graeme McDowell (F:71), -1 Shane Lowry (2), E Simon Thornton (16), E Ruaidhrí McGee (16), E Rory McIlroy (2), +1 Neil O'Briain (4), +1 Gavin Moynihan (3), +1 Paul Dunne (2), +2 Cormac Sharvin (5), +4 Cian McNamara (16), Darren Clarke (1.50), Paul McGinley (2.0), Colm Moriarty (2.0)

  • 14:04

    After another tee shot dispatched down the middle at the third - this one must have ran atleast 100 yards down the fairway - McIlroy has launched a wedge in to about six feet. He has that for a first birdie of the day. It's been a very solid start from McIlroy so far, he hasn't missed a shot yet.

    Up ahead at the 18th Frenchman Matthieu Pavon has two-putted for par to join the group - which includes Harrington - in the clubhouse at -4.

  • 14:12

    McIlroy's birdie effort starts left and turns right but not enough. It clips the edge and stays out.

    Alongside Lowry at the third, Lee Westwood has almost holed out with his approach. He has a tap in there for birdie and will go to -1 while Lowry himself faces another long birdie effort.

  • 14:16

    With his first driver of the day McIlroy absolutely launches a huge drive down the right of the fourth fairway, carrying the bunkers with ease and leaving himself with probably no more than a short iron to the green for his seond.

    Alongside him Olesen is hitting another provisional off the tee after going way right again. The Dane is having a nightmare trying to find the fairway so far although he did make an excellent long putt to save bogey at the second.

  • 14:24


    -5: Ryan Fox (F:67)

    -4: Adrien Saddier (F:68), Ashley Chesters (F:68), Robert Rock (F:68), Pádraig Harrington (F:68), Matthieu Pavon (F:68)

    -3: Scott Jamieson (F:69), Yusaku Miyazato (F:69), Adrian Otaegui (F:69), Dylan Frittelli (F:69), Jinho Choi (F:69), Sam Horsfield (17), Wade Ormsby (17), Marc Warren (16)

    Irish in action: -4 Pádraig Harrington (F:68), -1 Graeme McDowell (F:71), E Simon Thornton (17), E Ruaidhrí McGee (16), E Gavin Moynihan (5), E Rory McIlroy (3), +1 Neil O'Briain (5), +1 Darren Clarke (2), +1 Paul McGinley (1), +1 Colm Moriarty (1), +2 Cormac Sharvin (7), +2 Paul Dunne (4), +3 Neil O'Briain (6), +4 Cian McNamara (F:76)

  • 14:33
    McIlroy has set up an eagle putt on the 4th. Get this and he's off....He misses left and its JUST a birdie. There's a big sigh from the crowd because they know those are the putts he has been missing in past months. Still that's him in red after four holes.
  • 14:35
    Lowry has found the bunker on the 4th. That's a sandy coffin. He gets out but his third approach to the par five is 12 feet short.
  • 14:39
    PS: Nadal has gone two sets up against Kukushkin at Wimbledon.
  • 14:41
    Rory finds himself in one of the 84 bunkers at the fifth hole. His lazy, slow swing pushes the ball to about five feet for a par putt.
  • 14:44

    Rory misses another putt, this one at the fifth. It is an iffy start for him and the warning hazards are already flashing as he has missed two short putts in a row. He falls back to level par whereas he could easily have been -2.

  • 14:47

    Birdie putt on 6 from Dunne. Nah it just falls to the left. Nice effort but he stays at +2.

  • 14:52

    McIlroy from just off the fairway on the 6th hits into the greenside bunker. He had no chance of flying the bunker and stopping the ball on the green from where he was.

  • 14:54

    Rory hits a nice sand shot at 6 and draws a round of applause from the home crowd. But he has left himself another short putt, this one from five feet.

  • 15:00

    McIlroy finally gets one to drop at six and walks away satisfied. He's on level par and has been doing plenty to get into positions to score better. He strides off towards the seventh having halted a mini streak of three missed putts in a row.

  • 15:01
  • 15:03

    Lowry on the 6th flies in his approach pin high and tp the left. At -1 he has a chance to make that score a shot better.

  • 15:05

    Second birdie of the day for Lowry at the 6th. He moves to -2 with a 10 footer that is in all the way. That places him three shots behind the leader.

  • 15:07

    Wedge from McIlroy 176 yards to the 7th hole. It's good and rolls past the hole. He has a birdie chance back.

  • 15:13

    And Rory drops another putt. Straight as you like on the 7th for birdie. Big roar from the crowd as he moves into the red again.

  • 15:15

    Like McIlroy minutes before him, Lowry (-2) also goes into 7 with a wedge. It's too much and rolls past the flag, down the slope and into the bunker. He has a decent position and should get up and down for par.

  • 15:16

    On the 8th McIlroy finds the fairway bunker. It looks like his ball is back far enough to avoid the lip and to have a shot.

  • 15:17
  • 15:20

    Leaders -

    1. Ryan Fox (-5)

    2. Saddier, Chesters, Rock, Pavon, Harrington (-4)

    7. Horsfield, Jamieson, Otaegui, Miyazato (-3)

  • 15:23

    Dunne has pulled a shot back at the 8th as he rolls in a birdie putt. That takes him to +1. Lowry comes out of the sand at 7 and almost holes his second. Tap in par for him and remains at -2.

  • 15:24

    McIlroy's second at the 8th from the fairway bunker is very good. He finds the centre of the green and there's an outside chance birdie putt waiting for him.

  • 15:27

    Rory misses his birdie effort on the low side at the 8th. Par should be formality.

  • 15:27
    "I played rugby, tennis and cricket. Golf was probably my fourth sport," Grant Fox, who leads the Irish Open
  • 15:33

    Lowry (-2) sets up another birdie putt on the 8th hole. He's playing very nicely at the moment.

  • 15:37

    The top 10 players have all finished their rounds -


    Leaders -

    1. Ryan Fox 67 (-5)

    2. Saddier, Chesters, Rock, Pavon, Harrington 68 (-4)

    7. Horsfield, Jamieson, Otaegui, Miyazato 69 (-3)

  • 15:39
  • 15:44
  • 15:47

    Whoops... McIlroy has run his ball 8 feet past the cup at nine. He has a tricky putt back to make par.

  • 15:49

    Lots of laughing from the crowd after Olesen's ball ended up in the pocket of a spectator from his drive on the 9th. The fans says "I had another golf ball in my pocket but I gave him the right one."

  • 15:55

    Leaders -

    1. Ryan Fox 67 (-5)

    2. Saddier, Chesters, Rock, Pavon, Harrington 68 (-4)

    7. Horsfield, Jamieson, Otaegui, Miyazato, Fritelli, Choi, Manassero 69 (-3)

    14. Ormsby, Warren, Evans, Campillo, Ilonen, Wood, Kjeldsen 70 (-2)

  • 16:01

    European Tour stats

    Rory McIlroy

    Driving 4th

    Putting 206th

  • 16:06

    "I'm fairly solid, only got out of position once. I've holed a couple of putts for birdie. I'm pretty happy with the way I'm going.

    "Patience. It feels like there's a lot of chances but it's hard to get close to the hole so I think you need patience and then take your chances when they come," - Shane Lowry.

  • 16:09
  • 16:12
  • 16:15
    Shane Lowry drops his first shot of the day on the 10th and goes back to one under. Meanwhile, McIlroy gives himself another look at birdie on the 11th.
  • 16:26
    Long wait for McIlroy on the 12th after failing to pick up the birdie on the 11th. There's a green flag system in operation on the par four.
  • 16:32
    Shane Lowry gets a nice bounce back birdie on the 11th hole, judging a quick putt to perfection. Lee Westwood makes par and remains three under.
  • 16:41
    AND FINALLY! - Rory lands one from long distance and moves to two under after 12 holes. He could well go on a run now.
  • 16:48
    Leaders -

    -5 Ryan Fox 67

    -4. Saddier 68, Chesters 68, Rock 68, Pavon 68, Harrington 68

    -3 Horsfield 69, Jamieson 69, Otaegui 69, Miyazato 69, Fritelli 69, Choi 69, Manassero 69 - On Course - Lagergren (15th) & Westwood (12th)

    -2 Ormsby 70, Warren 70, Evans 70, Campillo 70, Ilonen 70, Wood 70, Kjeldsen 70 - On Course - McIlroy (13th) Lowry (12th) Fernandez-Castano (10th) Aguilar (8th)
  • 16:50
    Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano could be the evening bolter, he has a putt for a birdie on the 10th to go to three under.
  • 16:57

    McIlroy on -2 hits his second to 13 short and in front of the bunker. He was half a club short with that approach. His birdie at 12 keeps him propped up. Another would be useful at this par 5.

  • 16:59
  • 17:04

    That's a 5 out of 10 for McIlroy's short chip to the 13th pin. He has left himself a eight footer for birdie. It's another one from that tricky distance... and another miss out to the left. Easily McIlroy could be four shots better off had he dropped his shorter putts. Still he's -2.

  • 17:07

    There has been 50 birdies on the par 5 13th hole today and no eagles. Lowry is on the green but maybe 50 feet from the pin. That could mean any number of things.

    Paul Dunne - 3 birdies, 3 bogeys and a double bogey. He's struggling out there.

  • 17:09

    Rory at the par 3 14th has tweaked it down the left side. It's the 5th hardest hole on the course but he has left himself with a very difficult up and down from below the green in the first rough. His ball position in the grass could be everything.

  • 17:13

    Rory (-2) is actually on a down slope off the 14th. He asks the crowd not to move. He pitches to the left of the pin and uses the slope which brings the ball to rest two feet from the flag. fabulous effort from McIlroy. Very clever. Very well executed.

  • 17:16
  • 17:18

    Westwood (Ryder Cup vice captain) - four birdies so far and no dropped shots. Is he making a little bit of a late run. He's on -4 through 13 holes. Driving the ball very well.

  • 17:19
  • 17:24

    Westwood (-4) at the 14th did exactly what McIlroy did from off the green and got the same result with a deft pitch and use of the slope on the green. Wiley old fox that he is Westwood will save par here.

  • 17:32

    McIlroy at 15 has left himself another horrible distance putt for par. Of course it does NOT go in, this time he misses to the right from around 15 feet. That moves him back to -1. Whow! What a score he could have had. If he can get his putting going watch out for Rory.

  • 17:35

    Rory has a par five at the 17th among his last three holes. A birdie there would smarten up his card and leave him at -2, just three off the lead of Ryan Fox (-5) (phew almost called him Grant again)

  • 17:42

    Oh yes on 16 for Rory (-1). His approach, bouncing before the green and rolling nicely forward, has set him up with a birdie putt. Hasn't it always been thus. What's the chances?

    Lowry bangs his putt miles past at 15. WTF. Very unlike Lowry

  • 17:45
    Rory misses his putt on the 16th, probably 15 feet. Tap in putt and stays at -1. Looking very frustrated as his round should have been in the mid 60s. No kidding either.
  • 17:50

    Lowry bogeys 15 and drops back a shot to -1. It all came from his over hit putt that ran eight feet past the hole. McDowell, Lowry and McIlroy are all on -1 and around T30. Harrington leads the Irish charge with his morning start and score of 4-under 68.

  • 17:52

    Monster drive from McIlroy who flies the bunkers at 290 yards on 17 and he can reach the par five green in two even though his ball is in the trampled rough.

  • 17:55
  • 17:57
  • 17:57
  • 18:06

    Westwood slips his putt right on the 15th and fails to join the leader Fox on -5.

    Rory misses for eagle on the 17th par 5. He taps in for birdie and goes back to -2 with one to play. The 18th is the second hardest hole on the course.

  • 18:11
  • 18:11
  • 18:15
    Lowry out of the deep rough on the par 5 17th. Can he get there in two? Probably not. No definitely not. He hits into more rough and this is now anybody's guess.
  • 18:17

    Greystones' lad Paul Dunne finishes his round on +1 for a 73

  • 18:19

    Rory 135 yards to the pin on 18. It is a good approach but again he leaves himself a putt within 12 feet. A birdie on the last would be nice but going on what went before it is unlikely.

  • 18:25

    Rory McIlroy misses left for a 69 on the 18th. It was never going in. He picks up the ball like he knew it was never going to drop. Still he closes his first round with a 70 and 2-under.

  • 18:26
    That closes coverage of the firs day. Join us tomorrow for the second day of the Irish open. Lowry, McIlroy, McDowell and best of all Harrington are all well placed and in touh with the outright leaders. John O'Sullivan will take you through the second day, again expected to be sunny and warm.
  • 18:27
  • 18:53
    Shane Lowry closes with a bogey for a level-par 72. In the same group Lee Westwood completes a bogey-free four-under 68. See you tomorrow for more live coverage.