Monday 26 September 2016

Irish golfers face new strict Olympic anti-doping rules

William S Callahan

Published 07/05/2016 | 02:30

Rory McIlroy plays his second shot out of a fairway bunker on the fourth hole during the second round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow yesterday. Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Rory McIlroy plays his second shot out of a fairway bunker on the fourth hole during the second round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow yesterday. Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Shane Lowry, Rory McIlroy and other potential Olympic Games competitors face stringent anti-doping procedures which came into force yesterday.

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The new level of scrutiny includes 'whereabouts requirements,' meaning golfers must notify officials where they will be staying each night.

They must also specify where they will be for one hour each day during which possible testing could be carried out.

These strictures could prove irksome for golfers who are self-employed business people accustomed to setting their own schedules, particularly when not playing tournaments or satisfying sponsors' requirements.

The anti-doping compliance is part of the price of golf's return to the Olympic Games for the first time in 112 years, and technology will help the golfers avoid breaches of the regulations.

Three whereabouts breaches are deemed an anti-doping violation, so the golfers cannot afford any lapses.

Meanwhile, McIlroy, Lowry, and Padraig Harrington had more immediate concerns in the second round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow.

McIlroy had opened with 73, and Harrington shot 74 in round one. The Dubliner struggled again yesterday, carding eight bogeys on his way to a five-over-par 77, leaving him on a seven-over-par total, six shots off the projected cut line.

It was a better second round for McIlroy as he got himself back in contention with a three-under-par 69 to move to a two-under-par total ahead of the weekend's play.

Lowry played in the morning group, and after his opening 74, he needed to get on the birdie trail to gain some traction in the tournament. It never happened. Lowry's first of four bogeys came on the second hole.

Birdies on the long fifth and the par-four eighth, where he pitched to tap-in distance from 52 yards, suggested Lowry was in scoring mode, but a bogey five on the ninth brought him to the turn in level-par 36.

It was much the same story on the inward half.

Bogeys at 10 and 14 kept Lowry on the defensive, and a birdie three on the 18th for 73 and three-over par overall was little consolation as he faced a long wait to discover if he would make the cut.

Journeyman pro Andrew Loupe, who was joint overnight leader with Steve Wheatcroft, shot 71 to set the early clubhouse lead at eight-under.

Limited

Chesson Hadley was two shots back on six-under-par, and Wheatcroft joined Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Daniel Berger and Brian Harman in a group on five-under.

In Europe, Peter Lawrie, who is limited in his tournaments as he failed to regain his Tour card last year, shot an impressive 69 to reach four-under-par and move within two shots of leader Franceso Laporta in the Trophée Hassan 11 at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam.

Kevin Phelan's 72 for two-over overall was the next best Irish score. Gary Hurley shot 76 for +3; Paul Dunne filed 76 for +4; Cormac Sharvin was on +7 after a 78; Michael Hoey took 79 for +12; and Rory McNamara shot 84 for +20.

Gavin Moynihan was the only Irish player to make the cut in the Turkish Airlines Challenge at Belek.

Moynihan's 69 for three-under-par was nine shots off the lead held by Matthieu Pavon.

Trophee Hassan 11

Live, Sky Sports 4, 2.30pm

Wells Fargo Championship

Live, Sky Sports 4, 6.30pm

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