Irish on tour: McIlroy and Power set for Pebble as Challenge Tour begins

Ronan MacNamara
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Rory McIlroy acknowledges the crowd after winning in Dubai (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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It was a quiet week for the Irish on tour after the heroics of Rory McIlroy a fortnight ago as Tom McKibbin continued his consistent start to the season with his fifth cut made in as many starts on the DP World Tour.

McKibbin shared 16th place at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship after finishes of T25 and T14 in Dubai. The 21-year-old is now up to a career-high 151st in the Official World Golf Rankings.

On the PGA Tour, Shane Lowry brought the house down at Torrey Pines with a superb albatross on the final day of the Farmers Insurance Open although he was unable to play his way into the opening signature event of the PGA Tour season at Pebble Beach, while Seamus Power had a tournament to forget, continuing his Torrey hoodoo with a fifth successive missed cut.

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Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow both made the cut on the number on the LPGA Tour as Nelly Korda edged Lydia Ko in a playoff.

PGA Tour

This week, Irish eyes will be firmly on the PGA Tour as McIlroy makes his first appearance Stateside at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am alongside Power.

The Northern Irishman is play at Pebble Beach for only the second time in his career and first since missing the cut in 2018.

Earlier this month he made it clear he wanted to enter the upcoming Masters with more competitive action under his belt so the Pebble Beach Pro-Am was added to his schedule as was the Cognizant Classic (formerly the Honda Classic.)

DP World Tour

Perhaps a sign of Ireland’s dwindling presence at the top level is that there are no home hopefuls competing on the DP World Tour this week at the Bahrain Championship.

Challenge Tour

The opening event of the Challenge Tour season gets underway at the SDC Open, the first of four events in South Africa.

Gary Hurley will make his first appearance on tour since the DP World Tour’s Soudal Open in May 2023 and he is joined by Dermot McElroy and Ronan Mullarney who makes the step up to this level following his Order of Merit win on the Alps Tour.

Mullarney has been in fine form recently, winning on the Toro Tour as part of his winter preparations.

 

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