A four-under final round saw Shane Lowry produce his highest finish at an Irish Open since his memorable breakthrough win as an amateur at Baltray in 2009, and the 2019 Open champion feels that everything about the venue and the event’s staging was top-class and is happy that the K Club is set to host again in 2025 and 2027.
“It’s great. It works works well like for everyone I think,” Lowry said when asked about the venue. “For the sponsors, they’ve got their offices in Dublin so it’s quite close to that. The venue itself, the nice hotel on site, the golf course is great. And I think this golf course – I watched some clips from the Ryder Cup in 2006 last week sitting at home and there’s not many new tee boxes since the Ryder Cup in 2006 and 14 or 15 under is going to win this.
“So it just goes to show that if you set up a golf course properly, it does actually play the way it should do. I went through the course this morning with Paul McGinley in there and you’re hitting 9-irons and wedges a lot out there. But it is still very difficult, so I think the golf course has been amazing this week and they’ve done a great job here and we’re back here in a couple years time and then two years after that as well.
Padraig Harrington may not have had the week he was hoping for and rounded it out with a two-over 74 to post level-par, but the sheer volume of support the Dubliner received was incredible and something he was a little taken aback by.
“It’s been an enjoyable week,” Harrington said, “obviously weather’s been great. The crowds have been fantastic. You know, even today, not playing so well, they’re cheering you around the place and clapping me on to every green. So it really is a great atmosphere.
“I’ve got to say it’s been great being back here at the K Club, being so close to home and so close to Dublin and they always turn out in their numbers to the Irish Open, but it does seem to be bigger and better this year for some reason, certainly with my early tee times, I wouldn’t have really expecting the crowds got following me. So that was very nice.”
The September scheduling is another positive for the players and one that they are fully in support of and though the landscape of future top-tier golf is rather unclear with the DP World Tour’s Strategic Alliance with the PGA Tour and their proposed merger with the PIF, coupling the Irish Open with the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth appears to be a blueprint for success.
“Obviously you’re gonna get me and Rory and Padraig and whatever Irish players are are out there playing this tournament,” Lowry explained, “but you’ve got Adam Scott, Billy Horschel this year and I would argue that if the Ryder Cup wasn’t on in two weeks time, maybe next year, you might get a couple more Americans. But look, the thing is with golf, we don’t know what way our schedule is going to go over the next couple years.
“So I think this is a great date for Irish Open. And I always say to people, I live in America, and everybody asks me the best time to go to Ireland and I always say September. You’ve seen the weather we had in July this year and I always feel like you get pretty decent weather in September in Ireland. So this is a good date.”
Harrington, a two-time Open champion, is a links specialist and though an Irish Open as part of a links swing incorporating the Irish, the Scottish and the Open championships would favour the Dubliner, he selflessly thinks that September is a better date for the event itself.
“I liked that one, you know, with the idea of a links golf course and that they look to the Open, but I’ve got to say you’re going to attract better players right now. The FedEx has finished. You’ve got Wentworth next week.
“Any player who’s going to come for Wentworth, they’re going to come over here for two weeks. You know, see like a player like Adam Scott choosing to come here that’s a big deal for the tournament horizon have definitely up the game of the Irish Open.”