Kevin McStay on nightmare draw for Mayo and Galway; assessing golf club membership in Ireland

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Jake McLeod plays a trick shot on the 5th hole during a practice day ahead of the 2019 Irish Open at Lahinch. Photo: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Jake McLeod plays a trick shot on the 5th hole during a practice day ahead of the 2019 Irish Open at Lahinch. Photo: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

The latter stages of the All-Ireland senior football championship became a lot clearer yesterday as the draw for the fourth round of the qualifiers was made which also put a shape on how the Super 8s will play out. And before we even get to that stage we have a few tasty ties – none more so than the meeting of Mayo and Roscommon. Kevin McStay was the man who in fact drew out that clash during the draw yesterday morning and this morning he writes in his column that it’s a real nightmare draw for both teams. “The winner will play Kerry away in game one of the Super 8s a week later,” he writes. “Just what you need after a bruising border derby in the fourth round is the sight of the steward down in Killarney smiling at you as you arrive. “Howya! You’re very welcome to Fitzgerald Stadium! ’Tis great to see you!” With the Super 8s also taking shape, Seán Moran looks at what it means for the main protaginists with Dublin facing another trip north for their away match against either Cavan or Tyrone. If you’re still unsure on it, you can find a full list of throw-in times and venues for both the round four qualifiers and the Super 8s on our fixtures page.

On to golf and players were greeted by a bright and breezy day at Lahinch yesterday as many began to gather for this week’s Irish Open. From the Co Clare venue, Philip Reid writes that the strong Irish contingent will be a big boost for the event as organisers hope that the weekend will sell out. Indeed Robin Dawson was the last Irishman into the field when he got the sponsor’s exemption previously reserved for Gavin Moynihan before the Dubliner qualified on merit. The Irish Open is always one of the biggest draws of the Irish sporting summer but the reality is that golf in Ireland is facing a battle to stay relevant among younger generations. In our consumer pages this morning, John O’Sullivan takes a closer look at the membership scene in Ireland and what clubs are doing to attract younger generations to actually come and join.

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