The sports of rugby union, golf and horse racing came together in spectacular fashion on ‘Super Saturday’ at the Irish Open this weekend.
Beginning with the second rugby test match between Australia and the British and Irish Lions in Melbourne, which attracted a huge crowd in the Tented Village at Carton House, and continuing through the third round of the tournament, a superb day ended in style with a part of 50 players and family members attending the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh racetrack.
The wet but enthusiastic rugby fans saw the Lions come up just short as they enjoyed a healthy ‘Lions Breakfast’ in the Village. Happily the sun broke through in the afternoon to create a great atmosphere in which the large crowd of 20,000 enjoyed some spectacular golf, especially from 54 hole leader Joost Luiten of the Netherlands.
Finally, around 15 players taking part in the Irish Open and their families experienced the thrill of the thoroughbreds as Trading Leather, trained by Jim Bolger, toppled the favourites in the Derby in front of a crowd notable for their fashion and enthusiasm at the Curragh.
The Tour professionals enjoyed the visit arranged by The European Tour and the Curragh Racecourse as part of the ‘double ticket’ initiative which enabled many fans of both sports to watch the golf and racing in one, marvellous day.
Tour winner Rhys Davies commented: “It’s been a fantastic experience for all of us here with our wives, partners and families. We’ve all enjoyed the opportunity to relax and unwind in a pleasant environment and it has been a great initiative all round."