The European tour will get back underway in Germany with the BMW International Open after the excitement of McIlroy’s US Open victory in Bethesda.
Shane Lowry will be the only Irish player who took part in the play at the Congressional last week to play in Thursday’s opening round in Munich after missing the cut in the second round of the US Open.
The Offaly man missed the chance to play over the weekend along with McIlroy and co after missing the cut by just two strokes, finishing on one-over par on the first day and then ending up with a disappointing 76 to bow out of the tournament early on.
Lowry will take the positives from experiencing his first major and will take the lessons he learnt into Thursday’s first round of the tournament that he tied for 17th in last year.
Lowry shared 17th in this competition in 2010 with fellow Irishman Peter Lawrie, and both men would be very happy to improve on that result, which saw them finish on 12-under par; six shots off last year’s winner Englishman David Horsey.
Darren Clarke’s form in the Italian Open nearly saw him challenging on the final day for the title Robert Rock eventually won but his inconsistency cost him as his third round score of three-over saw him settle tied for 46th.
Damien McGrane finished just one shot behind Clarke in Sicily and his solid effort for that tournament will have to be turned up a notch to really challenge for a high finish this Sunday in Munich, where Martin Kaymer returns to his native country, hopeful for a victory for some breathing space between himself and Rory McIlroy at the top of golf’s world rankings.
McIlroy’s emphatic US Open win has given golf a breath of fresh air from the previous dominance by Tiger Woods and young golfers like Kaymer and Jason Day look like they will be challenging him for titles and accolades for years to come.
Paul McGinley and Simon Thornton both failed to make the cut in Italy the weekend before the US Open and both men will be looking to improve on their poor finishes in that tournament.
SportsNewsIRELAND betting advice:
Shane Lowry 50/1 ew 1-2-3-4-5
Anders Hansen 25/1 ew 1-2-3-4-5