McIlroy and Lowry are amongst the home favourites as fans return to Mount Juliet for an exciting leg of the European Tour
The road to the Open Championship intensifies as this leg of the European Tour visits Mount Juliet Golf Club in Kilkenny for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
The event, which is a regular fixture on the European Tour circuit, has previously been held at fantastic courses such as Lahinch Golf Club, Ballyliffin Golf Club, and Royal County Down. The event was due to be held at the Kilkenny course in 2020, but organisers postponed the event due to the pandemic.
As well as a stunning course, the players have an added bonus this week with fans back on the course. Those spectators are in for a treat as some of the Tour’s best players battle it out for one of the last remaining spaces at the Open Championship and for the title of Irish Open Champion.
Designed in 1991 by Jack Nicklaus, Mount Juliet is no stranger to professional events. Between 1993 and 1995 it held the Irish Open three times and in 2002 and 2004 it hosted the WGC-American Express Championship. Out of all the events held at the club it was the WGC that made the headlines in 2002. During the week the course record was reached by both Sergio Garcia and Retief Goosen as they both posted -10 62s.
Goosen was pipped to the WGC title by Tiger Woods who managed to go one stroke lower at -25 for the week. Though Woods was delighted to claim the victory, his week ended on a sour note. Woods had played 71 holes without a bogey – a par or better on the 18th wood mean it would be the first time in his career he would go an entire week without a bogey or worse. A trigger-happy photographer interrupted Woods during his second shot and he dumped his approach into thick greenside rough and he finished by bogeying the last hole. Ever the competitor, Woods was not happy as he stated that though Mount Juliet provided a tough test, he had played the best golf of his career that week and he would have loved to go without a bogey at the course.
The course itself is a par-72, 7,300 yard, parkland masterpiece. Nicklaus’ designed weaves 18 holes through Mount Juliet Estate and provides players of all levels with an enjoyable challenge. There are tight tee shots, soft bunkers, thick rough and water hazards throughout. However, a good tee shot will always afford generous scoring opportunities. The course is one of the golfing highlights as you head East in Ireland and it frequently appears in our visitors bucket list itineraries.
There is a strong field this week as some of Ireland’s best will on show – Rory McIlroy, reigning Open Champion Shane Lowry, and Europe’s Ryder Cup Captain Padraig Harrington. All eyes will be on Ireland this week and you can catch the event live from July 1st to July 4th.
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