Rory mcilroy

McIlroy hoping to ‘sharpen up’ ahead of Open in Portrush

Rory McIlroy.

By John Manley

Bernd Weisberger, joint-second in last week’s Irish Open at Lahinch, kept his foot on the pedal and won the Scottish Open in a playoff with France’s Benjamin Hebert. Rory McIlroy, who took a pass on his national open, tied for 34th place at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland, having shot 13-under-par 271 (67-67-68-69), nine strokes behind the low duo.

“I think I got what I wanted out of it for the most part,” McIlroy said. “I would have loved to have been in the thick of things going into today, but probably made a few too many mistakes over the week to do that. I didn’t judge the lies around the greens very well this week. If I can just sharpen that up and sharpen up those little shots around the green, I’ll be right there.”

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Paul Dunne, who shot 70 and 68, missed the cut by a stroke. The par-4 eighth hole cost him three strokes over his two-day tour. Padraig Harrington, for the second straight week, started well (67), only to have the shine wear off on Friday, this time with 72. He missed the cut by two strokes. Graeme McDowell missed another cut in advance of this week’s British Open at Royal Portrush. Here, rounds of 73 and 69 left him five strokes on the high side.


Cormac Sharvin lost some positioning in this year’s Challenge Tour Order of Merit by playing in the Irish Open, but he gained most of that back by finishing fifth in the Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge in France. He didn’t begin sharply as he knocked out rounds of 72 and 71 to make the cut on the number.

Sharvin did, however, post the lowest aggregate score, 134 (65-69), for the weekend. He was four strokes off the winner, Steven Tiley, at the end of play and goes into next week seventh on the Order of Merit.

Ruaidhri McGee tied for 32nd place at 1-under-par 283 (67-75-70-71). Robin Dawson, who also played well last week at Lahinch, missed the cut by two strokes after shooting rounds of 71 and 74.


Back on U.S. soil after going the distance in the Irish Open, Seamus Power set about the task of claiming one of the three British Open spots available to those at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois who were not yet qualified. After a pedestrian 69 on Thursday, he gained some upward traction on Friday by shooting 65. A bogey at 12 left him only a stroke under par for his round, but he then proceeded to pick up three birdies and an eagle over the remaining six holes. That left him just outside the top 10 with weekend play looming.

Power shifted into reverse on Saturday, however. He was two under through eight holes when the round unraveled. Bogey-double bogey-bogey at 9, 10 and 11 hit him upside the head and then, after a birdie at 16, he doubled at 17 and bogeyed 18. The carnage amounted to 75. Sunday’s round saw Power recover to shoot 69 and claim a share of 61st place, 15 strokes off Dylan Frittelli’s winning score.

Power dropped five notches on the FedEx Cup ladder to 135th. He has three chances to work his way into the top 125 before the FedEx Cup playoffs begin. This week’s Barbasol Championship in Nicholasville, Kentucky is the first of those.


Coming off six straight missed cuts, Stephanie Meadow knocked out her finest performance of 2019, a joint-11th place finish in the Marathon Classic at Highland Meadows in Sylvania, Ohio. She combined rounds of 71, 66, 71 and 67 to finish the event nine strokes under par and 13 behind victor Sei Young Kim.

Friday’s 66 was a bogey-free treat and she lost only one stroke to par on Sunday, while picking up three strokes at 17 and 18 with an eagle and birdie, respectively.

Alison Walshe made only her second start of the year and earned her first check by virtue of finishing tied at 71st place. She posted rounds of 72, 71, 74 and 69 to complete the event two strokes over par.


A poor second round cost Leona Maguire a shot at contending for the title in the final round of the Donald Ross Classic at the French Lick Resort in French Lick, Indiana. Despite three bogeys in the first round, she scratched out a score of 68, thanks to four birdies and an eagle. She entered the second round only two strokes off the lead.

Beginning the second round off the 10th tee, she coughed up three strokes by the time she made the turn. Matters worsened with bogeys at the first and second holes, although she rallied with birdies over three of the next four holes. But she gave back two of those strokes and walked off the course with 75.

So, what kind of odds do you think you could have gotten that she would have shot a bogey-free round on Saturday? Who’s to say, but you’d have gotten rich wagering on that proposition. Four birdies and a round of 67 allowed her to claw her way back up to a share of 11th place, 10 strokes off the winning score posted by Patty Tavatanakit.

Maguire, who has won twice on this circuit in 2019, needs to finish the campaign in the top 10 to advance to the 2020 LPGA Tour. She’s currently third on the money list with $78,839. Perrine Delacour, with $112,705, rules the roost.


A first-round 65 set Jonathan Caldwell up nicely in the Cobra Puma-NXT LVL Championship at MacDonald Portal in Cheshire, England, but he let the title get away with a second-round 72. An assemblage of birdies (6) and an eagle were the key to that first-round score, which was blemish-free. In Friday’s final round, Caldwell slumbered through an even-par opening nine before he woke up at the turn. He clipped four strokes off par at 10, 11 and 12, and later took birdies at 16 and 17, only to lose a stroke – and a share of second place – at 18. He finished four strokes off Richard Mansell, with whom he was tied after the first round.

John-Ross Galbraith, who also hung up a 65 on Wednesday, receded with rounds of 74 and 70. He earned a share of 14th place.

Caldwell stands 11th on the Order of Merit and needs to crack the top 5 at season’s end to earn a Challenge Tour berth for 2020.



Brendan Lawlor of Dundalk won the European Disabled Golf Association Scottish Open, a 36-hole event open to golfers with disabilities that was played alongside the European Tour’s Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club.

Lawlor, who was born with Ellis-Van Creveld Syndrome, which is characterized by short stature and limbs, combined rounds of 77 and 71 to top nine rivals. He won by one stroke.

The 21-year-old Lawlor stands 4-11 and previously earned his way into the Challenge Tour’s KPMG Trophy in August.

“It feels surreal, to be honest,” Lawlor said in regards to competing amidst, although not against, some of the world’s finest golfers. “To be out here this week, competing with all the pros and having the chance to play off the same tees, it’s a privilege for all of us to get out here and play in such a fantastic event.”