Sunday 21 October 2018

McGinley puts Lahinch in Irish Open frame

 

Paul McGinley. Photo: Sportsfile
Paul McGinley. Photo: Sportsfile

Brian Keogh

Paul McGinley wants to take the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open to Lahinch when he plays host to the $7million Rolex Series event next year.

The Dubliner (51) has recommended the historic County Clare links to the European Tour, which will visit the venue in mid-March to study the feasibility of hosting one of golf's biggest events there.

The 2014 Ryder Cup skipper claimed the South of Ireland title at Lahinch in 1991 and having revealed earlier this month that it is "imperative", having spoken to the Tour and key players, that the 2019 Irish Open is held on the links course with The Open taking place at Royal Portrush a fortnight later, the wheels have been set in motion.

Tournament director Simon Alliss is likely to form part of the visiting party, and while another visit to County Sligo's famed Rosses Point links, which is also seeking the Irish Open to coincide with its 125th-anniversary celebrations, is also likely, McGinley's love of Lahinch could be key.

"I am very proud to be a South of Ireland champion," McGinley told a special gathering of 23 South of Ireland champions at Lahinch on July 31 last year, which was the club's 125th anniversary.

"Winning in 1991 was very important in my career because without winning the South of Ireland, I wouldn't have made the Walker Cup team that year and without making the Walker Cup team, I wouldn't have gone to the Tour School and without going to Tour School, I wouldn't have been on Tour that year.

"So it all evolved from my success here in Lahinch."

Irish Independent

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