Keeping Score

Northern Ireland hosts Irish Open for 4th time this decade

European Tour visits Galgorm Castle as American Tyler Koivisto returns to site where he won 2 weeks ago on Challenge Tour

4: Number of times that Northern Ireland will have played host to the Irish Open in the past decade when Galgorm Castle Spa & Golf Resort makes its debut on the European Tour beginning Thursday. Two weeks ago, the resort in Ballymena hosted the Challenge Tour’s Northern Ireland Open, which was won by American Tyler Koivisto. The victory earned Koivisto a spot in this week’s tournament. In 2012, the Irish Open returned to Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom and had been the scene of decades of sectarian strife, after a 59-year absence. Jamie Donaldson won the 2012 Irish Open at Royal Portrush in a warmup act for the R&A’s return of the British Open to Northern Ireland, in 2019. Ireland’s Shane Lowry, who won the Claret Jug last year and tied for 43rd last week at the U.S. Open, is entered this week. The Irish Open originally had been scheduled for late May at Mount Juliet Estate in Thomastown, Ireland, but was postponed during the global coronavirus pandemic (tee times).

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