On Thursday, the merchandising tent sold out of sun glasses. On Friday, they ran out of umbrellas. Such was the weather at the Irish Open at Carton House last week.
Squally showers, blazing sunshine and blustery winds blew in and blew out.
By the end of the four days, the total attendance came in at 81,379.
Despite strong Irish contenders, major champions Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke and Rory McIroy failed to make the cut.
Paul McGinley didn’t make the weekend’s play either. That left Offaly’s Shane Lowry as the only Irish contender, attracting a large following as he made his way around the course on Thursday.
In fact, he was the only face left of the five golfers pictured on front of the progamme. The Faithful county natives travelled in big numbers.
He had a tough day, but on Friday, bounced back with a 69 to finish fifth, earning him a cool €80,496.
The Maynooth course was in great shape with a wonderful natural feel. The historic house was a beautiful backdrop, and the fairways and greens were immaculate.
Golfers were full of praise for the venue despite the difficult weather conditions.
Pablo Larrazabal thanked everyone for their support on Twitter. Rafael Cabrera Bello replicated the sentiment. Rory McIroy said even through he didn’t make the cut, he had a very productive two days at Carton House. “Gr8 facilities 4 practice, thx for looking after me”, he tweeted.
In the end, it was Paul Casey who took the title – a very popular winner, who has been plagued by injury. His eagle on the 18th in the final round drew a huge roar.
It was great to see 47-year-old Jose Maria Olazabal tied for second. Hugely popular with the Irish fans, the Spaniard played some excellent shots and drew a large crowd over the weekend.
The facilities were excellent as the European Tour bandwagon rolled in and rolled out of town.
- Niamh O’Donoghue