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PGA European - Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, May 28th through Sunday, May 31st
SITE: Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle, Co Down, Northern Ireland
COURSE ARCHITECT: Old Tom Morris (1891), Seymour Dunn, George Combe, Harry
         Colt (early 20th Century), Donald Steel (2005 - Hole 16)
PAR: 71
YARDAGE: 7,186
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 5 539 Yds10 - Par 3 196 Yds
2 - Par 4 444 Yds11 - Par 4 442 Yds
3 - Par 4 475 Yds12 - Par 5 525 Yds
4 - Par 3 229 Yds13 - Par 4 446 Yds
5 - Par 4 440 Yds14 - Par 3 212 Yds
6 - Par 4 396 Yds15 - Par 4 468 Yds
7 - Par 3 144 Yds16 - Par 4 337 Yds
8 - Par 4 429 Yds17 - Par 4 433 Yds
9 - Par 4 483 Yds18 - Par 5 548 Yds
--------------------------
35 3,579 Yds36 3,607 Yds
 
Annual:  60th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday -- 6-8 a.m. (et), 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (et),
  - Friday -- 3-6 a.m. (et), 7 a.m.-1 p.m. (et),
  - Saturday -- 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (et),
  - Sunday -- 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Mikko Ilonen
Runner-Up:  Edoardo Molinari
Tournament Record:  266 (Colin Montgomerie, 2001; Ross Fisher, 2010)
54-Hole Record:  198 (Rolf Muntz, 2000)
36-Hole Record:  129 (Patrik Sjoland, 2000; Shane Lowry, 2009)
18-Hole Record:  61 (Graeme McDowell, 2009; Ross Fisher, 2010)
Course Record:  66 (Jimmy Bruen, 1939)
Total Purse:  $2,718,517 (2,500,000 euros)
Shares:  1st Place - $432,972; 2nd Place - $288,644; 3rd Place - $162,627
 
2014 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Mikko Ilonen271Graeme McDowell274
Edoardo Molinari272Magnus A. Carlsson274
Danny Willett273Six players at275
Matthew Baldwin273
Kristoffer Broberg273
 
Past Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2014Mikko Ilonen (271) -- Edoardo Molinari
2013Paul Casey (274) -- Robert Rock, Joost Luiten
2012Jamie Donaldson (270) -- Anthony Wall, Rafael Cabrera-Bello,
Fabrizio Zanotti
2011Simon Dyson (269) -- Richard Green
2010Ross Fisher (266) -- Padraig Harrington
2009*Shane Lowry (a) (271) -- Robert Rock
2008Richard Finch (278) -- Felipe Aguilar
2007*Padraig Harrington (283) -- Bradley Dredge
2006Thomas Bjorn (283) -- Paul Casey
2005*Stephen Dodd (279) -- David Howell
2004Brett Rumford (274) -- Padraig Harrington, Raphael Jacquelin
2003*Michael Campbell (277) -- Peter Hedblom, Thomas Bjorn
2002*Soren Hansen (270) -- Darren Fichardt, Richard Bland, Niclas Fasth
2001Colin Montgomerie (266) -- Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke,
Niclas Fasth
2000Patrick Sjoland (270) -- Fredrik Jacobson
1999Sergio Garcia (268) -- Angel Cabrera
1998*David Carter (278) -- Colin Montgomerie
1997Colin Montgomerie (269) -- Lee Westwood
1996Colin Montgomerie (279) -- Andrew Oldcorn, Wayne Riley
1995*Sam Torrance (277) -- Howard Clark, Stuart Cage
1994Bernhard Langer (275) -- Robert Allenby, John Daly
1993*Nick Faldo (276) -- Jose Maria Olazabal
1992*Nick Faldo (274) -- Wayne Westner
1991Nick Faldo (283) -- Colin Montgomerie
1990Jose Maria Olazabal (282) -- Frank Nobilo, Mark Calcavecchia
1989*Ian Woosnam (278) -- Philip Walton
1988Ian Woosnam (278) -- Nick Faldo, Manuel Pinero, Des Smyth,
Jose Maria Olazabal
1987Bernhard Langer (269) -- Sandy Lyle
1986Seve Ballesteros (285) -- Rodger Davis, Mark McNulty
1985*Seve Ballesteros (278) -- Bernhard Langer
1984Bernhard Langer (267) -- Mark James
1983Seve Ballesteros (271) -- Brian Barnes
1982John O'Leary (287) -- Maurice Bembridge
1981Sam Torrance (276) -- Nick Faldo
1980Mark James (284) -- Brian Barnes
1979Mark James (282) -- Ed Sneed
1978Ken Brown (281) -- Seve Ballesteros, John O'Leary
1977Hubert Green (283) -- Ben Crenshaw
1976Ben Crenshaw (284) -- Brian Barnes, Martin Foster, Billy Casper
1975Christy O'Connor Jr (275) -- Harry Bannerman
1974Not Held
1973Not Held
1972Not Held
1971Not Held
1970Not Held
1969Not Held
1968Not Held
1967Not Held
1966Not Held
1965Not Held
1964Not Held
1963Not Held
1962Not Held
1961Not Held
1960Not Held
1959Not Held
1958Not Held
1957Not Held
1956Not Held
1955Not Held
1954Not Held
1953E.Brown (272)
1952Not Held
1951Not Held
1950H.Pickworth (287)
1949H.Bradshaw (286)
1948D.Rees (295)
1947H.Bradshaw (290)
1946F.Daly (288)
1945Not Held
1944Not Held
1943Not Held
1942Not Held
1941Not Held
1940Not Held
1939A.Lees (287)
1938A.Locke (292)
1937B.Gadd (284)
1936R.Whitcombe (281)
1935E.Whitcombe (292)
1934S.Easterbrook (284)
1933E.Kenyon (286)
1932A.Padgham (283)
1931E.Kenyon (291)
1930C.Whitcombe (289)
1929Abe Mitchell (309)
1928E.Whitcombe (288)
1927George Duncan (312)

* - Won in Playoff

Note:Formerly called Carrolls Irish Open (1975-93), Murphy's Irish Open
(1994-2002), Nissan Irish Open (2003-06), 3 Irish Open (2009-10), Irish Open (2011-14).

Top Contenders in the Field
Player2005200620072008200920102011201220132014
Mikko Ilonenmc---wdT-16mcmc---T-10T-32Won
Graeme McDowellmcmcT-31mcwdT-31T-25T-16mcT-6
Ross Fisher---T-5mcT-24T-50WonT-17T-10T-22T-8
Richard FinchT-22mcmcWonmcT-31mcmcT-53T-8
Padraig HarringtonT-511thWonT-31mc2ndmcT-7mcT-14
R. Cabrera-Bello------T-37---T-20mcmcT-2T-5T-26
Robert Rock---T-5mcmc2nddqmc65thT-2T-29
Stephen DoddWonmcmcT-56T-25mcmc---T-58T-33
Darren Clarke17th3rd---T-16T-14T-12mcT-39mcT-58
Shane Lowry------------WonT-21mcT-51T-5mc
Simon DysonT-13T-60T-7mcT-41mcWonT-10mcmc
Rory McIlroymc------7thT-50T-35T-34T-10mcmc
Thongchai Jaidee------------T-20------T-18------
Miguel A. JimenezT-49---T-21---mc---------------
Martin Kaymer------T-35T-10------------------
Byeong Hun An------------------------------
Rickie Fowler------------------------------
Sergio Garcia------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Sergio Garcia
Darkhorse - Miguel Angel Jimenez
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Rory McIlroy) - Missed the cut
Last Week's Darkhorse (Francesco Molinari) - Finished 5th
 
NOTES:The European Tour heads to Ireland this week for the Irish Open. The
field is highlighted by major championship winners from Ireland -- Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington and Darren Clarke. Royal County Down is hosting this tournament for the first time since 1939.

McIlroy missed his first cut on the 2015 European Tour last week at the BMW PGA Championship. The world No. 1 has three wins worldwide this year, including the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship. McIlroy currently leads the European Tour Order of Merit with over 2.6 million euros.

Sergio Garcia is playing in this event for the first time since 2000. The 1999 champion is still looking for his first victory this season. Garcia has two runner-up finishes worldwide this year, including a tie for second at the Players Championship on the PGA Tour.

American Rickie Fowler is playing in this event for the first time. He is playing for the first time since winning the Players Championship on the PGA Tour three weeks ago for the biggest victory of his career.

Last year, Mikko Ilonen opened with a 64 and finished his wire-to-wire win at 13-under-par 271 for a 1-shot victory over Edoardo Molinari. It was his fourth career title on the European Tour.

Paul Casey poured in a long eagle putt on the final hole in 2013 to seal a 3-stroke win. Casey closed with a 5-under 67 in the final round to finish at 14-under-par 274 at Carton House Golf Club. The win was his 12th on the European Tour, and the 4-stroke comeback matched the largest comeback in event history.

In 2012, Jamie Donaldson shot a 6-under 66 in the final round to wrap up his first title on the European Tour. Donaldson was the only player to put together four rounds in the 60s at Royal Portrush and finished at 18-under-par 270. The victory was a long time coming for Donaldson, who made 253 starts on tour before getting a win. He was a 3-time Challenge Tour titlist and twice finished as a European Tour runner-up. Donaldson became the third Welshman to win this event, after Ian Woosnam (1988-89) and Stephen Dodd (2005).

Despite missing a birdie putt on 18th hole in regulation in 2009, Irish amateur Shane Lowry was victorious thanks to a 2-putt par on the third playoff hole. Lowry joined Pablo Martin and Danny Lee as the only three amateurs to win on the European Tour. He was the first player to win in his European Tour debut since American Ben Curtis won the British Open in 2003. There have been 11 playoffs in tournament history, the most at any one event on the European Tour.

Harrington in 2007 held on to beat Bradley Dredge in a playoff to become the first Irishman in 25 years to win the European Tour's biggest event on the Emerald Isle. An exciting finish to the final round gave way to an anticlimactic playoff, when Dredge plugged his third shot at the par-5 18th into the bank of a pond on the way to a double-bogey. Harrington made par and became the first Irishman to win this event since John O'Leary in 1982.

In 2006, Thomas Bjorn birdied the 72nd hole on Monday to win. Bjorn closed with an even-par 72 to end at 5-under-par 283 for a 1-shot win over Casey. Bjorn seemed out of the tournament after he opened with a 6-over 78 in the first round and trailed by nine shots. A course-record-tying 66 got him back to even-par after two rounds and a 5-under 67 in round three got him into contention. The tournament was plagued by weather issues, causing the Monday finish. Bjorn's opening-round 78 tied the highest first round score by a winner in European Tour history, set by George Burns at the 1975 Kerrygold International.

Colin Montgomerie became the fourth player in event history to capture this title three times in 2001 when he led wire-to-wire, defeating Harrington, Clarke and Niclas Fasth by five shots. Montgomerie joined Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer and Seve Ballesteros as 3-time winners.

There have been only six champions who have posted all four rounds in the 60s: Donaldson in 2012 (Royal Portrush); Soren Hansen in 2002 (Fota Island); Montgomerie in 2001 (Fota Island); Garcia in 1999 (Druids Glen); Langer in 1987 (Portmarnock); Langer in 1984 (Royal Dublin).

Montgomerie was the last player to win back-to-back (1996-97), while Faldo is the only player to win three consecutive years (1991-93). There have been five wire-to-wire winners: Christy O'Connor Jr. (1975), Langer (1987), Faldo (1992), Montgomerie (2001) and Ilonen (2014).

Only seven times has an Irishman won this event: Lowry in 2009 (County Louth Golf Club), Harrington in 2007 (Adare Manor), John O'Leary in 1982 (Portmarnock), O'Connor, Jr. in 1975 (Woodbrook), Harry Bradshaw in 1949 (Belvoir Park), Bradshaw in 1947 (Royal Portrush) and Fred Daly in 1946 (Portmarnock). Americans have captured this event only twice, in 1976 and 1977, when Ben Crenshaw and Hubert Green won the tournament.

The European Tour moves to Sweden next week for the Nordea Masters, where Thongchai Jaidee won last year.

05/26 16:22:12 ET

As of May 26, 2015, at 04:22 PM ET

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AT&T Byron Nelson Championship
May 28 - May 31, 2015
Friday's second round (Suspended)
As of May 29, 2015, at 10:52 PM ET
Player Score Hole
Steven Bowditch -9 F
Jon Curran -9 F
Jimmy Walker -9 F
Cameron Percy -8 F
Ryan Palmer -8 F
Hunter Mahan -7 F
Nick Watney -7 F
Jerry Kelly -7 F
Jonathan Randolph -7 F
Tony Finau -7 16
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Scoreboard
Local
Final
STONYBROOK 0
NCSTATE 3
 
Final
SYR 1
DUR 3
 
Final
KAN 8
CHC 4
Final
COL 4
PHI 1
Final
TAM 1
BAL 2
Final
MIA 4
NYM 3
Final
WAS 2
CIN 5
9th
BOS 4
TEX 7
 
8th
ARI 5
MIL 4
 
8th
CWS 3
HOU 3
 
9th
TOR 4
MIN 4
 
8th
LOS 0
STL 3
 
4th
DET 0
ANA 0
 
3rd
NYY 0
OAK 4
 
4th
CLE 0
SEA 0
 
3rd
PIT 0
SDP 0
 
4th
ATL 1
SFG 2
 
Final
TAM 2
NYR 0
Final
AUBURN 6
CHARLESTON 7
 
Final
CALIFORNIA 9
CCAROLINA 3
 
Final
COLUMBIA 6
ECAROLINA 3
 
Final
ORALROBRTS 6
ARKANSAS 8
 
Final
SFLORIDA 5
FAU 3
 
Final
WRIGHTST 7
NOTREDAME 13
 
Final
MICHIGAN 10
BRADLEY 5
 
Final
OREGON 1
IOWA 3
 
Final
TEXAS 4
OREGONST 5
 
Final
INDIANA 7
RADFORD 1
 
Final
ULLAFAYETE 7
RICE 6
 
Final
STONYBROOK 0
NCSTATE 3
 
Final
LEHIGH 3
LSU 10
 
Final
CLEMSON 4
ARIZONAST 7
 
Final
MERCER 4
FLORIDAST 5
 
Final
MOREHEADST 2
LOUISVILLE 7
 
Final
VIRGINIA 6
USC 1
 
7:00pm Tonight
CANISIUS 0
SWMISSOURI 0
 
Final
FIU 2
MIAFLA 6
 
Final
FLAAM 0
FLORIDA 19
 
Final
MARYLAND 3
MISS 1
 
Final
STJOHNS 4
OKLAHOMAST 5
 
Final
TSOUTHERN 0
TEXASAM 5
 
Final
VCU 7
DALLASBAPT 2
 
Final
HSTNBAPT 4
HOUSTON 6
 
8th
LIPSCOMB 1
VANDERBILT 9
 
Final
OHIO 3
ILLINOIS 10
 
8th
SACREDHART 0
TCU 10
 
3rd
PEPPERDINE 1
FULLERTON 1
 
3rd
SANDIEGOST 3
CSANTABAR 1
 
2nd
TULANE 0
NWILMINGTN 2
 
11:00pm Tonight
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
Final
SYR 1
DUR 3