Irish Open Digest: Migliozzi’s snowman woes

Italian’s challenge melts away as he suffers a forgettable 84 at Mount Juliet

Italy’s Guido Migliozzi probably harboured reasonable expectations of building upon the one under par, 71, he shot in the opening round of the Horizon Irish Open at Mount Juliet.

Instead, the 25-year-old Italian who has won twice on the DP World Tour and finished tied fourth (2021) and tied 14th in the US Open (2022) endured one of those days with which everyone who has ever teed up a ball can identify. It is easy to sympathise.

He eventually signed for an 84, 12 over regulation figures, a round that included a snowman (eight), a triple bogey and two double bogeys and a bogey.

His tale of woe began at the 13th where he ran up his eight, he put his second and fourth shots into the water in front of the green. On the par four 15th he lost his tee shot and had to reload, eventually leading to a double bogey.

On 18 he again found water, this time with his second shot which eventually cost him two shots as he required 44 blows to the turn. A bogey on the on the second was followed by taking seven on the par four, fourth, once again forced to reload from the teeing ground. It proved to be the largest swing in shots in the field.

Rugby treat for early birds

Sports fans who turn up in time to see the start of the third day’s play at the Horizon Irish Open will be able to watch the first rugby Test between New Zealand and Ireland at Eden Park on the big screen in the tented village at Mount Juliet. The match kicks off at 8.05am, Irish time, and the facilities in the village are expected to be open.

The All Blacks have not lost a game at Eden Park since the French beat them back in 1994, 28 years ago. Coincidentally that year Mount Juliet hosted the Irish Open, and the tournament was won for a third time by Bernhard Langer.

No German has managed to win it since but a couple, Matti Schmid, no relation to former Ireland coach and current All Black selector, Joe Schmidt, and Marcel Schneider, both on six under par, will hope that in nationality terms it is an omen for this year’s event.

Word of Mouth

“You know, some weeks I didn’t putt good. Some weeks I didn’t drive it good and some weeks I didn’t hit the irons good. I guess this week, everything is good; so far, so good.” Good on Spain’s Jorge Campillo who climbed to the top of the leaderboard.

By the Number – 152

Yards that Thomas Pieters had to the pin from the middle of the trees to the right of the seventh fairway. His hooked recovery shot to 10 feet on the apron of the green was a thing of beauty.

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan is an Irish Times sports writer