The Irish Open will begin on Thursday, July 1st with national stars such as Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry taking part in the European Tour’s event at Mount Juliet, Kilkenny.
5,000 spectators will be in attendance over the weekend to watch McIlroy and co. go up against each other with a €3 million purse at stake.
The four-time major winner will play in the Irish Open for the first time since 2018, the last year it was hosted by the Rory Foundation.
Ryder Cup captain Pádraig Harrington and vice-captain Graeme McDowell join the aforementioned two on the list of Irish major winners in Kilkenny for this week’s tournament.
2020 Irish Open winner Todd Cantlin will also take part and is paired with Rory McIlroy for the opening rounds.
Looks like a fine and warm start for the Irish Open at Mount Juliet, County Kilkenny, on Thursday and Friday. Warm over the weekend but a chance of some rain. Stay tuned. #IrishOpen ⛳️ pic.twitter.com/kp6qSyZHgJ
— Barra Best (@barrabest) June 28, 2021
The Mount Juliet golf course, designed by Jack Nicklaus, is an American-style parkland course and will look familiar to courses on the PGA Tour.
It is the first time the golf course has been the venue for the tournament since 1995 when Sam Torrance claimed victory in a playoff against Stuart Gage and Howard Clark.
The venue was expected to host the 2020 Irish Open but last year’s instalment was moved to Galgorm Castle due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
McIlroy comes into the Irish Open as an 11/2 favourite to win the event and is 14/1 to lead after the first day, an achievement not uncommon in a McIlroy victory.
Shane Lowry is viewed as the second favourite to win the Irish Open on 14/1.
Both golfers have previously won the tournament with Rory’s win coming in 2016 at the K Club and Shane Lowry’s triumph being his breakthrough performance as an amateur at the County Louth Golf Club in 2009.
Tommy Fleetwood, who tees off with Rory McIlroy in the opening rounds is also tipped to do well this weekend with odds of 4/1 on a top-five finish.
Two-time major winner and Ryder Cup vice-captain Martin Kaymer is the wild card of the bunch with favourable odds on both a high-end finish and missing the cut.
The German is seen as a possible banana slip by bookies as he sits on 5/2 to finish inside the top 10 for some bookmakers and 5/2 to miss the cut for others.
Irish Open First Round Tee Times For Irish Golfers
8:00 am: Shane Lowry, Jonathan Caldwell
8:10 am: Pádraig Harrington
8:20 am: Simon Thornton
9:20 am: Cormac Sharvin, Paul Dunne
12:50 pm: Niall Kearney
1 pm: Rory McIlroy
1 pm: Rowan Lester
1:10 pm: Graeme McDowell
2 pm: Colm Moriarty
2:10 pm: Caolan Rafferty
2:20 pm: Gavin Moynihan, Mark Power
2:30 pm: Neil O’Briain
2:30 pm: Robin Dawson
Where To Watch
The Irish Open will be available to watch on RTÉ 2 and the RTÉ Player from Thursday with coverage starting at 1:30 pm.