Shane Lowry has reiterated that the organisers of the Horizon Irish Open should do whatever they can to get Rory McIlroy to play in next year’s tournament.
The Holywood man elected to skip this year’s event as part of his preparations for The Open at St Andrews next week and will instead play the JP McManus Pro-Am today and tomorrow before heading to the Scottish Open, which starts on Thursday.
McIlroy — who won the Irish Open at The K Club, where it will be played next year, in 2016 — hasn’t played at the event since 2018 and Lowry is eager for organisers to do everything to convince him to play next year.
“It’s all up to him. We’d love to have him here. He’s such a big name in the world of golf. Is it that this date doesn’t suit him?” wondered Lowry, who produced a fine five-under 67 in his final round to finish ninth at Mount Juliet at 12-under.
“The week after The Open is a very good date, and the week after Wentworth too. We’re finished the FedEx Cup, we could get home for a couple of weeks.
“One of my favourite weeks of the year is Hilton Head, that’s the week after the Masters. I go away have a bit of a holiday with my family and play a bit of golf. I feel like a few people might do that if the Irish Open is the week after The Open.”
Meanwhile, Séamus Power has revealed his own Open preparations will include a trip to Northern Ireland after he plays the JP McManus Pro-Am.
“I’m going to play County Down next Sunday, my first time ever, play that and take the ferry over,” said the Waterford man, who finished the Irish Open tied-30th at seven-under after a 68.
“I’m going to go play links probably Thursday and Saturday, just get a bit used to it. Haven’t played a lot of links courses over the last decade. St Andrews is so unique, it’s still different but just get a feel for hitting some of those shots again.”
Pádraig Harrington humoured the crowd by eating an ice cream mid-round on his way to a closing 69 which saw him match Power at seven-under, although it could have been better after he played the front nine in 30 shots, while Niall Kearney ended his week at four-under-par and in a share of 58th after a 70.