*Shane O’Donnell. Photograph: Martin Connolly
Clare’s Shane O’Donnell and former Irish rugby captain Paul O’Connell are the first names to sign up for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open pro-am.
Teeing off on Wednesday July 3, the pro-am takes place ahead of the second Rolex Series event of the 2019 Race to Dubai. The tournament, which for the first time will played over the spectacular Old Course at Lahinch Golf Club from July 4-7, will be hosted by The 2014 Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley.
Shane O’Donnell who recently returned home to Clare following a stint studying at Harvard University said he’s looking forward to the challenge. “I’m delighted to be back in Ireland and thrilled to be taking part in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Pro Am. I’ve played at Lahinch a few times and it’s an incredible place to play. It’s great to be back on this side of the Atlantic Ocean and I suppose you don’t get much closer to being back in the USA than at Lahinch. As well as having the hurley back in my hands, I’ll have to get the clubs out too to practise”.
Paul O’Connell, who will return home from France this summer is confident the Irish Open at Lahinch will be one to remember. “I’m a member of Lahinch Golf Club so I know how tricky the course can be but I’m looking forward to being back there this summer and playing with the professionals. They could teach me a thing or two. I think the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open will be a really special one. Obviously, Lahinch and the Munster region is close to my heart, and I think the support down there will be some of the best the event has ever seen.”
The rest of the pro-am line-up will be announced over the coming weeks.
Joining Paul McGinley in Lahinch this July is a star-studded field which includes Shane Lowry, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood, Danny Willett, Tommy Fleetwood and Louis Oosthuizen, with further names to be announced over the coming months. The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open takes place from the 3rd to the 7th of July. Tickets are available from www.dubaidutyfreeirishopen.com.
The European Tour is also giving one Munster primary school the chance to enter into a fun trick shot competition for the chance to win a VIP trip to this year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, while the winning participant will also have the tournament trophy visit their school for a day. To enter the competition, parents and teachers are asked to submit the trick shot video online via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, name the school and location in the post and use the hashtags #DDFIrishOpen and #KidsTrickShot.