Different Strokes: Leona Maguire makes it a sister act for upcoming run of tournaments

Shane’s simple solution for Irish Open . . . Word of Mouth . . . By the Numbers . . . Twitter Twaddle . . . On this Day . . . In the Bag . . . Know the Rules

Leona Maguire, the only woman competitor in the JP McManus Pro-Am, has her sister Lisa on the bag in place of regular caddie Dermot Byrne … and will retain that sisterly bond for upcoming tournaments, including the Dow Great Lakes Invitational, the Evian Championship and the ISPS Handa World Invitational.

“Dermot will be back on the bag for the British Open,” confirmed Maguire, who is currently ranked 20th in the Rolex world rankings in what is turning out to be a magnificent season for the Co Cavan golfer.

Of being the lone woman with the men in the stellar field at Adare Manor, Maguire said: “Competing in the same event as Tiger Woods, that’s something I will always have I suppose. He probably won’t be playing too many more events, it will be a cool memory to have … it’s something you wouldn’t dream about when you were a little kid, an event like this. I’ve been outside the rope with Dad at Irish Opens and Ryder Cups and stuff like that. So it is nice we have come full circle and I am inside the ropes this week.”

Maguire, who bounced back from a run of three missed cuts to claim a top-10 finish in the US Open and then finished runner-up in the Meijer Classic after a playoff, said of her recent form: “I felt like I was playing decent golf but struggled on the greens on the west coast. I didn’t really read too much into it and had a nice week back in North Carolina again at the US Open that gave me a bit of confidence.

“I’m looking forward to Evian and British Open coming up. This is as good a test as any, it’s a Major championship golf course here at a Ryder Cup venue so it is nice preparation for the few weeks ahead.”

Shane has a solution to boosting quality of Irish Open field

Will anyone listen to Shane Lowry?

Although the Horizon Irish Open was a sell-out affair over the weekend and featured great crowds, the quality of the field left a little to be desired for such a prestige tournament.

Lowry’s solution? Move the date … to the week after the Open!

“One of my favourite weeks of the year is Hilton Head, that’s the week after the Masters. I go 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.

“Relax and unwind after the last Major of the year. Trip to Dublin. We’re in The K Club next year. Not too far away. Have a nice getaway with your family. Stuff like that, you can think about when you’re looking for a date for a tournament.”

Word of Mouth

“Growing up, I would say Tiger Woods obviously and Rory McIlroy. I always looked up to them and was watching them on TV and wanted to be like them, winning tournaments” – Adrian Meronk, on his boyhood inspirations.

By the Numbers: 14/15

This week’s Scottish Open will feature 14 of the top-15 ranked players in the world, the first time a regular event – outside of the Majors or WGCs – had such a turnout since the 2007 Wachovia Championship. The odd man out is world number two Rory McIlroy, who is instead playing some links golf in Ireland in preparation for next week’s 150th Open at St Andrews.

Twitter Twaddle

On this day: July 5th, 1981

In a star-filled field that included Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson and Hale Irwin, it was the unheralded Ed Fiori who outshone them all in the Western Open at Butler National Golf Club.

Fiori closed out with a huge 100 feet birdie putt on the last, for a final round 67 for an 11-under-par total of 277 that gave him a four-shot winning margin.

“It’s the best round I’ve ever played under pressure. I thought I was about to cry, I really did. I handled the pressure well, but the pressure is always there on Sunday and it scares me to death,” said Fiori, who claimed a second PGA Tour title to add to his 1979 Southern Open win.

Jim Colbert, who played with Fiori in the final group, said: “I frankly didn’t think Eddie was capable of playing that well. He did everything he was supposed to do and he just plain beat us.”

Aware he had a three-stroke lead standing on the 18th tee, Fiori hit a 2-iron off the tee and hit a pitching wedge lay-up with his second and then used the wedge again for his approach which settled on the edge of the green from where he sank the 100 feet putt.

Fiori’s win was played out in front of an aggregate crowd of 99,900 over the four days, the large attendance bolstered by a baseball strike that had deprived fans of live sporting events.

In the Bag: Adrian Meronk (Horizon Irish Open)

Driver: Ping G425 Max (10.5 degrees)

3-wood: Ping G425 Max (14.5 degrees)

Hybrid: Ping G425 (19 degrees)

Irons: Ping iBlade (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (50, 54 and 58 degrees)

Putter: Ping Vault 2.0 Ketsch

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Know the Rules

Q Two players on the fifth hole play their approach shots to the green but agree to take a detour to the sixth tee to play their tee shots before going on to putt out on the fifth green. This is to avoid having to walk back up a hill to the sixth tee and to save time. What is the ruling?

A In match play, the players are disqualified under Rule 1-3 for excluding the operation of Rule 2-1 by failing to play the stipulated round, provided the players knew that this was a breach of the rules. If they did not know that their action was a breach of the rules, both holes stand as played. In stroke play, the competitors are disqualified under Rule 3-2 for failing to hole out on the fifth hole before making a stroke from the sixth tee.