2020 US Open gets underway at Winged Foot, Rovers ready for Milan and Zlatan
The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team
Rory McIlroy plays into the ninth green during practice ahead of the 20202 US Open. Photograph: Jamie Squire/Getty
The delayed 2020 US Open gets underway later on today, with the year’s second Major taking place at the notoriously devilish Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, New York. There are four Irish players in the field - Rory McIlroy (1.07pm start, Irish time), Graeme McDowell (1.18pm), Cork amateur James Sugrue (5.54pm) and Shane Lowry (6.05pm). And the quartet have a stern test awaiting them, writes Philip Reid: “But the challenge of a course, with its fearsome reputation, will ensure mental strength as much as any shot-making will be a crucial element in determining its latest winner.” Meanwhile he has compiled a comprehensive hole-by-hole guide to the West Course at Winged Foot, which is available here. And he has also picked out five players who could be in for a strong week in New York, with Dustin Johnson the current bookies favourite at 17-2. The Irish Times liveblog will be running throughout all four days of the tournament - join us today around 1pm as Malachy Clerkin and then Ruaidhrí Croke take you through the action.
There will be no fans present to witness what could be one of the defining nights in the history of Shamrock Rovers later this evening, as they take on seven-time champions of Europe AC Milan in a one-legged Europa League qualifier in Tallaght (kick-off 7pm, RTÉ2). No Irish side has ever scored a competitive goal against an Italian side in Europe, but the Premier Division leaders will be hoping to catch the Rossoneri cold in what will be the visitors’ first competitive fixture of the season. And yes, Zlatan has travelled. Dundalk are also in Europe League action tonight, as they take on Andorra’s Inter Club d’Escalades at Estadi Comunal with Filippo Giovagnoli looking to make it three wins from three since he replaced Vinny Perth at Oriel Park (kick-off 6.30pm).