Six Irish confirmed for Royal Portrush battle

Bernie McGuire
Graeme McDowell / Image from Getty Images

Graeme McDowell / Image from Getty Images

Bernie McGuire

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Ireland’s contingent of Open Championship contestants is confirmed at six after Paul Dunne missed the halfway cut at the Aberdeen Standard Investment Scottish Open.

Dunne’s last chance at securing a Royal Portrush tee time ended with scores of 70 and 68 for a three-under par tally, two shots shy of the Renaissance course cut.

With Dunne missing out, it means four-time Major winning Rory McIlroy along with fellow Open Champions Padraig Harrington and Darren Clarke plus, Graeme McDowell, Shane Lowry and Amateur champion, James Sugrue will tee-up at Royal Portrush.

Harrington had struggled with the driver on day one in Scotland posting a 67 and again sprayed it off the tee with a day two 72 to join Dunne with a three-under par total.

McDowell’s joy in finishing top-10 at last month’s Canadian Open and securing a ‘home’ Royal Portrush tee time has been soured in recent weeks.

‘GMac’ did finish T16th at the U.S. Open but in returning home he missed the cut with a pair of 72s last week at Lahinch and never got going in Scotland with scores of 73 and 69.

His second Renaissance Club round was a mix of five birdies and three bogeys while he posted the opposite on day one of the Scottish event.

McDowell was heading home to his parent’s house in Portrush ahead of Thursday’s start to the year’s final major.

On Tuesday night at Royal Portrush, McDowell will be honoured by the Association of Golf Writers (AGW) with the ‘Arnold Palmer Open’ award reflecting his strong relationship working with the golfing media.

McDowell, who will be accompanied by his wife and parents, will be the third Irish golfer (Padraig Harrington – 2013 & Paul McGinley – 2015) to be honoured with the award since its inception since 2013.

It clearly reflects the stature and rapport the Irish golfers enjoy within the AGW.

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