Shane Lowry feeling comfortable back on home soil; Darragh Ó Sé on why Kerry need a Mayo test
Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team
England’s Lucy Bronze reacts after her side were beaten 2-1 by USA in the Women’s World Cup semi-final. Photo: Franck Fife/Getty Images
It’s that time of the year again when links golf comes into full focus in the professional game with the run of the Irish Open, Scottish Open and Open Championship. And what a treat we have this week with the old links in Lahinch stepping up to host a European Tour event for the very first time. It was 10 years ago this year that Shane Lowry made history as an amateur at Baltray by winning the Irish Open. Since then plenty has happened for the Offalyman but now, coming into this week in some good form and on a course he knows well, Lowry is not fazed by the weight of expectation in trying to repeat that feat. “I’m feeling good. It’s probably the best form-wise I’ve ever coming into an Irish Open, I suppose. But I’m doing my best to try and play down expectations and just kind of go out there and enjoy it as much as I can,” Lowry said yesterday. At the other end of the scale, Dubliner Gavin Moynihan could really do with repeating his good finish at the 2017 Irish Open to give him some hope of keeping his European Tour card this season. Moynihan is currently ranked 656th in the world after struggling so far on his debut European Tour season but he knows a big week is on the way.
Moving on to GAA and Darragh Ó Sé writes that Mayo’s time for warnings is now long gone and that every match is like a last stand for them. If Mayo do see off Galway in the qualifiers this weekend they will then take on Kerry in the first match of the Super 8s the following week and Ó Sé reckons that, apart from it having the potential to be a blockbuster, it is also exactly the test that both teams need. “Kerry want, almost need, Mayo to stay alive. They want the type of challenge only they are guaranteed to bring. They represent the ideal test to see if we’ve got our own house in order after the Munster final raised a load of concerns,” he writes. Meanwhile, in his column this morning Seán Moran has put together some midsummer thoughts as we whizz through a frantic championship which, by the end of next month, will all be over. Meanwhile, in a seemingly never-ending situation of ‘ask the same question and you’ll get the same answer’, GAA president John Horan has downplayed the role of funding in the success of the Dublin footballers.