Irish on Tour: McKibbin returns, Irish in Phoenix and Walsh embarks on Kenyan adventure

Ronan MacNamara
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Lauren Walsh (Photo: Tristan Jones / LET)

Ronan MacNamara

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It was a quiet week for the Irish, Rory McIlroy flattered to deceive while Seamus Power’s momentum was halted as Mother Nature washed out Pebble Beach.

In a week where it was all about 54 hole no cut events there was at least some proper golf in South Africa as the Challenge Tour got underway for 2024. Gary Hurley showed promising signs while Dermot McElroy and Ronan Mullarney also teed up their campaigns.

There was no Irish presence on the DP World Tour, but Tom McKibbin does return for the Qatar Masters this week.

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DP World Tour

McKibbin looks well placed to contend for his second DP World Tour victory this week in Qatar.

16th a fortnight ago in Ras Al Khaimah, a rampant Thorbjorn Olesen and a cold putter prevented the Holywood sensation from truly contending over the weekend.

But his consistency points towards a peak at some stage and after ranking seventh in strokes gained off the tee and fifth in approach, he looks primed to have a crack here.

PGA Tour

Shane Lowry and Seamus Power tee it up at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in Arizona both with differing agendas.

Lowry is chasing a place at next week’s Signature Event at the Genesis Invitational in Riviera while Power is looking to kick on from his return from injury after a T31 finish last week.

Power is already sure of his spot in Riviera next week.

Ladies European Tour

Lauren Walsh kicks off her first full season as a professional at the Magical Kenya Ladies Open and she is joined by Olivia Mehaffey.

Walsh dipped her toe into professional golf after a glittering amateur career at Wake Forest, at the LET Access Series.

Both she and Mehaffey can look forward to around fifteen starts this term on the Ladies European Tour before the mid-season re-rank where hopefully they can improve their status.

Challenge Tour

Mark Power makes his first Challenge Tour start of the season at the Bains Whiskey Cape Town Open and he is joined by Gary Hurley and Jonathan Caldwell while Conor Purcell will be hoping he can go one better and secure promotion to the DP World Tour this campaign.

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