Shane Lowry the ‘accessible superstar’; Dublin could lose home neutral venue

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British Open golf champion Shane Lowry celebrates with fans at the Boars Head pub in Dublin’s City Centre. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

British Open golf champion Shane Lowry celebrates with fans at the Boars Head pub in Dublin’s City Centre. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

The success of the British Open at Portrush means the timeline for a return could be moved forward by as much as five years, with the possibility of a return as soon as 2024. Irish caddie Colin Byrne believes that British Open champion Shane Lowry - “a very accessible superstar” - has matured into a serious contender: “Of late, at 32, he has matured into a serious contender by gaining equilibrium in his life; if he doesn’t perform as he knows he can he does not beat himself up in the way he might have as a younger man.”

The controversial “Croke Park round” may be part of this year’s review process at the end of the football championship. Under the experimental provision now in its second year, Croke Park rather than “neutral venue” is specified in the rule book although obviously for all counties except Dublin, it is neutral. Kevin McStay writes in his column that this would be a golden age for football if Dublin were not such a force: “I don’t have any sense that Dublin are ever going away again. It points to very difficult times for every other county in Ireland for many years to come. And the solution is not at all obvious.”

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