James Finnigan, Redmond O’Donoghue, Shane Lowry, Conor Mallaghan and Antonia Beggs (pic by Sportsfile) ()
Shane Lowry hopes to take full advantage of some ‘home comforts’ this summer when the Irish Open returns to Carton House in Co. Kildare, for the first time in seven years.
The two-time European Tour champion has been the Touring Professional at Carton House since January 2012, living in Leinster Wood which overlooks the O’Meara Course at the venue which hosts the 2013 Irish Open from June 27-30.
It will be the Montgomerie Course – used for both the 2005 and 2006 Irish Opens won by Stephen Dodd and Thomas Björn respectively - which The European Tour players will tackle once again, and Lowry believes his local knowledge can only help his bid to regain the title he so memorably won as an amateur at County Louth Golf Club in 2009.
On that occasion Lowry defeated Englishman Robert Rock in a play-off, sparking fervent scenes of celebration on the fairways in Baltray.
Given his association with Carton House, the 25 year old can expect similar home support when he joins Horizon Sport stable mate Rory McIlroy, the World Number One, and three-time Major Champion Padraig Harrington as part of the strong Irish challenge in the field.
“For a professional golfer living in Ireland, there’s no better place to be than Carton House, as the facilities are top class, and hopefully I can use my experience of practising there to help me try to win the Irish Open again,” said Lowry.
“It was obviously a special moment for me to win the Irish Open in Baltray as an amateur, but it would mean a lot to do it again as a professional at Carton House.
“I’m sure there will be a lot of support, not only for me but for all of the Irish boys, and I’d love to be able to win not only for the fans but for everyone at Carton House who has been so supportive over the past few years.
“The atmosphere was amazing at Royal Portrush last year and I’m sure it will be just the same in June. Carton House is a superb venue and I’m really looking forward to playing in the Irish Open there.”
While Lowry’s victory in The 2009 Irish Open helped to propel him into the world of professional golf and launched his European Tour career, he is now more than established in the paid ranks, having claimed his second European Tour title in last season’s Portugal Masters.
He finished one stroke clear of Ross Fisher, the man who succeeded him as Irish Open Champion in 2010, on a thrilling final day in Vilamoura to become only the second player after Pablo Martin to win as both an amateur and a professional on The European Tour.
The victory, which was followed by a fifth place finish in the lucrative BMW Masters in China, helped Lowry to 29th place on The 2013 Race to Dubai, representing steady progress after ending the 2010 season in 62nd position and the 2011 campaign in 41st place.
Lowry has already shown signs of continuing that form into the new season, finishing tied ninth in the Volvo Golf Champions, and he hopes to be in peak form in time for his national Open.
“I’ve taken a lot of confidence from that victory in Portugal,” said the current World Number 64, who is a product of the Golfing Union of Ireland, which is based on Carton House’s historic estate.
“It was massive for me. To get my first win as a professional was great. Hopefully I can now build on that and win more titles, and the Irish Open is certainly one that I am targeting this year.
“Obviously being able to stay at home during the week will be a big advantage and I cannot wait for it to come around.”
Golf fans hoping to see Lowry in action at Carton House can take advantage of a special advance ticketing offer.
An advance season ticket for all four days can be bought for €70, a saving and €10 on admission at the gate. Adult day tickets are priced at €30 pre-event, and €35 on the gate. Concessions are available at €50 for a season (€60 on the gate) and €20 for any one day (€25 on the gate).
Under-16s accompanied by an adult are admitted free of charge and all car parking is also free. Reserved grandstand seating can also be purchased immediately for Thursday, Friday and Saturday (€10) and the Sunday (€15) of the event.
Additionally, as part of the Irish Open ticket campaign, fans of golf and horse racing can enjoy both sports on the same day – Saturday, June 29 – by purchasing a specially priced ‘Irish Double’ ticket to enjoy the third round of the Irish Open and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Day for a combined price of €50.
Corporate Hospitality packages are also available with prices ranging from €245 to €295 (plus VAT).
For all enquiries please contact Joanne in CSL Hospitality on 01 676 6650 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information please visit www.cslhospitality.ie
Full ticket information can be found at: www.europeantour.com/tickets
or telephone Ticket Hotline: +440800 023 2557. Irish callers can phone: 1890 252 698. Postal enquiries should be sent to: European Tour Tickets, Mirren Court Three, 123 Renfrew Court Three, Paisley, PA3 4EA.