Plastic Donal Band
Old Conna pro Donal Gleeson had at least two loyal fans cheering him on at Carton House - three if you count the dummy.
Two fans - one dressed in green, one in orange — were left a man shirt when a friend who was supposed to fill in the “white” part of the tricolour cried off at the last minute.
The two amigos weren’t going to let that ruin their plan and dressed the torso of tailor’s dummy in a white top. But Gleeson couldn’t oblige with a miracle round and missed the cut.
Wing man G-Mac
Graeme McDowell is probably the only golfer in the world to open a bar and help build a hospital wing in the same year.
The world No 9 opened his Nona Blue Tavern in Orlando earlier this year but his efforts to help fund a new Cardiac Unit at Crumlin Children’s Hospital means a lot more.
Through the G-Mac Foundation, the Antrim star has helped donate $1m to the Fix Crumlin Appeal with another $200,000 going into the kitty this week.
McDowell is a strong supporter of the country’s biggest children’s hospital and wants to see that the current cramped and antiquated wards are completely refurbished so that children and their parents can be accommodated comfortably in up to date facilities.
He said: “We are still a million euro short in the fund-raising efforts so we are just trying to raise awareness about what’s a very important project and it’s been a lot of fun to try and help out.
“It puts 74s into perspective, that’s for sure. I can take more credit for the bar than I can for the hospital wing.
“I am just a very small piece of that puzzle but it has been a really good relationship so far and it is cross border because they are the main cardiac until in the hole of Ireland.”
Rory’s old pals club
Peter Uihlein has made new friends on the European Tour but world No 2 Rory McIlroy is an old pal
The 23-year old American and the 24-year old Holywood superstar first met in Florida when they were juniors.
Uihlein said: “I want to say it was at Doral Junior when we were about nine or ten; and then we played a practice round at the Orange Bowl in Miami when we were about 12, 13.
“It’s hard not to follow his career. He’s been unbelievable and he’s a top player in the world now and it’s great to see, and it’s nice seeing a young guy up there. It’s pretty sweet.”
Video Rock star
European Tour stars rely heavily on technology but co-leader Robert Rock needs it more than most these day.
After struggling with his putting during the BWM International last week, he used the blade just 26 times yesterday after getting a putting lesson - via email.
Rock explained: “I was frustrated in Munich. I played really quite well for three days out putted awfully.
“I played on Saturday with Richard McEvoy and he had a little suggestion but also gave me coach Jonathan Yarwood’s number, and he kindly sent me a V1 email golf lesson.
“It’s part of the V1 Golf App and teaching system that a lot of teaching pros have. I use it at my academy, as well.
“You can basically record a video and do a voiceover lesson at the same time, and then just email it straight to whoever it needs to go to, and draw things all over it.”
Padraig Harrington loves his gadgets but his latest training aid even gave Graeme McDowell a laugh.
The pair were interviewed in tandem by SkySports and when Harrington was asked about the contraption he had attached to his left foot when he hit balls on the range on Thursday, McDowell started smirking.
Harrington said: “It’s a Chango Balance Paw. It just makes my left foot have to work very hard to balance and stablilise.
“It is helping me with my swing and I changed my shoes this week too and started wearing Footjoy M-Project which are more akin to helping you feet work and let your toes spread.
“I have to work harder with my left foot and it seems to be helping my swing a bit and giving me more hit in my drives.”
Breaking into a grin, McDowell looked at the interviewer and said: “There wasn’t going to be a short answer to that question, was there.”
Joint leader Peter Uihlein has raised eyebrows as one of the rare Americans to try and make it in Europe before the US.
But the son of Titleist-Achushnet boss Wally Uihlein admits that his pals only want to know about the girls
Asked the most common question the guys back home ask him about life on the European Tour, Uihlein laughed and said: “Women that’s probably the common question.
“They are just curious I guess, I don’t know why.”