This week, the European Tour returns to Ireland for the 44th Annual Irish Open. Last year, Spain’s Jon Rahm won by an astonishing six strokes over Richie Ramsay. This year, he returns to defend his title against some of Europe’s best players, including the tournament host: four-time major champion Rory McIlroy. Other notables in the field include former Irish Open champions Mikko Ilonen and Jamie Donaldson as well as Irish-born major champions Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell, and Padraig Harrington.
Ballyliffin Golf Club, in County Donegal, Ireland, will host the Irish Open for the first time this year. Founded in 1947, its last hosted professional tournament was the Ladies Irish Open in 1998.
Players to Watch
Jon Rahm: The defending champion has had a great season, which is to be expected from the number 5 ranked player in the world. A win in his homeland’s national open in April coupled with a fifth place finish last week in France makes him a clear favorite to become a back-to-back champion in Ireland.
Wade Ormsby: Two top-20 finishes in his last two starts have him trending in the right direction after a win early in the season. Expect Wade to have a strong showing this week and to be a factor come Sunday.