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Fleetwood and Lowry join 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

Lowry will be joined on home soil by Ryder Cup star and former Race to Dubai winner Tommy Fleetwood

Shane Lowry, the first Rolex Series winner of the 2019 season, will be joined on home soil this July by Ryder Cup star and former Race to Dubai winner Tommy Fleetwood, when the duo arrives at the famous Lahinch Golf Club for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
Tournament host Paul McGinley is set to bring the prestigious event to the iconic County Clare links venue for the first time from July 4-7, for the second of eight Rolex Series events on the 2019 Race to Dubai.
For Lowry, it will be a much-anticipated homecoming after the popular Offaly player claimed his first European Tour title in three and a half years in the maiden Rolex Series event of the 2019 campaign, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.
It was a dramatic triumph which was widely celebrated in his native land, with the country’s President Michael D Higgins, Irish football legend Robbie Keane and former Irish rugby star Brian O’Driscoll among those publicly congratulating the 31 year old.
It will be a particularly poignant return to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open for Lowry, coming ten years after a remarkable breakthrough victory in his home event – when, as a 22 year old unknown amateur, he overcame Robert Rock in a play-off to become just the third amateur winner in European Tour history.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Lowry. “Going to Lahinch – it’s in a beautiful part of Ireland, on a great golf course, and if the weather is good, honestly, you won’t get a nicer place in the world.
“I think Paul will do a great job, and I think as always Dubai Duty-Free do a fantastic job. The fact that its part of the Rolex Series is amazing and I’m lucky enough and happy to be going there as a Rolex Series champion. I’d love to win another home title and hopefully, it will be this year.
“I don’t really remember much from 2009, but it obviously kick‑started my career. It doesn’t feel like ten years, it feels like it’s gone a lot quicker than that. I’ve played in every Irish Open since, and every time I go back, it’s just special. I always say that the Irish Open in Baltray was probably my greatest achievement to date and probably will always be unless I can top it with a Major.”
Joining Lowry at Lahinch – which is consistently ranked inside the top 100 of the world’s greatest golf courses – is one of the game’s most popular stars, Englishman Fleetwood.
Fleetwood’s most recent victory also came in Abu Dhabi, in 2018, and the 28-year-old has since remained in the top 20 of the Official World Golf Ranking, come close to earning a maiden Major title at last year’s U.S. Open and played a starring role in Europe’s Ryder Cup victory at Le Golf National last September.
The four-time European Tour winner, also a Rolex Series champion at the 2017 Open de France, claimed four points from four alongside playing partner Francesco Molinari in Paris, the much-loved pair earning the moniker ‘Moliwood’ thanks to their heroics.
“I’m very excited about it because I missed it last year and I was really disappointed because golf in Ireland is one of those places I’ve always enjoyed playing, and to get that chance again this year, it’s going to be fun,” said Fleetwood.
“It will be great, they are really true golf fans and I’m very happy that I can support Paul. He’s always been great with me from my first few years on Tour, and always took the time to give me advice.
“Links golf, especially around that time of the year, we have such a great run of events, and it’s very important to just get that feeling. We very rarely play that kind of golf throughout the year, so any chance you get to have a feel for it, and play in some slightly different shots, get a feel for how the ball reacts in the wind and the turf, I’m looking forward to it. It’s perfect preparation for The Open.”
The 2018 Dubai Duty-Free Irish Open provided one of the most dramatic finales in the tournament’s 91-year history, as Russell Knox holed a 40-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to clinch a place in a play-off alongside New Zealander Ryan Fox.
The Scot then sank an almost identical putt on the first play-off hole to send the huge Irish crowds into raptures and seal his maiden Rolex Series title.
With blazing sunshine and a star-studded field including the 2017 champion Jon Rahm, a total of 94,239 people attended the event at Ballyliffin Golf Club.

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