Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry will get the Irish Open off to a rock ‘n roll start at Carton House tomorrow.
Ireland’s top young guns have been drawn with in-form 2006 champion Thomas Bjorn, guaranteeing a massive crowd on the 10th tee at 7.50am.
And with Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell out in the marquee afternoon group with defending champion Jamie Donaldson, a party atmosphere is guaranteed from day one.
Delighted to team up with McIlroy for the third time in his career, Lowry said: “I’m really excited about it. It’s actually the draw I was hoping for and expecting to be honest.
“There won’t be too many people who won’t go and watch that group. It will be great to have a massive crowd out there. But to be honest, I don’t think I could be any more up for it than I already am.
“Rory and I get on well and we’ll have a laugh going around. And I get on with Thomas too. Hopefully the three of us can play well and feed off each other. That often happens.”
McIlroy has ben going through a mini slump so far this season but Ryder Cup skipper Paul McGinley is backing him to hit the high notes at any moment.
Impressed by the way the world No 2 handled the massive circus of the Ryder Cup at Medinah, McGinley said: “It really was like being with a rock star when you’re walking from the green to a tee or if you’re hanging around going to the courtesy cars afterwards.
“As Irish people, and certainly for me, sitting back here and watching him on TV you don’t realise what goes on behind the scenes and what he has to put up and what he has to deal with and I think he handles it extremely well.
“There’s a lot more to come from Rory, there’s no doubt. One of the reasons why he’s so exciting is the fact that he’s up and down.
“That’s one of the reasons why Seve was so exciting too. I think that’s the X-Factor that Rory has. He can win every week.”
IRISH OPEN TEE TIMES (Irish Unless Stated)
Round 1 (Round 2):
First Tee (10th Tee)
7:30 (12.30) A Dodt (Aus), E Pepperell (Eng), T McCumber (US).
7:40 (12.40) F Aguilar (Chile), G Mulroy (SA), M Foster (Eng).
7:50 (12.50) C McNamara, E Grillo (Arg), E Kofstad (Mor).
8.00 (1.00) M Staunton, S Dodd (Wal), L Slattery (Eng).
8.10 (1.10) S Little (Eng), J Lagergren (Swe), B McGovern.
8.20 (1.20) K Broberg (Swe), S Arnold (Aus), P Waring (Eng).
8.30 (1.30) D Gaunt (Aus), M Jonzon (Swe), D Higgins.
8.40 (1.40) H Otto (SA), K Horne (SA), D Willett (Eng).
8.50 (1.50) I Garrido (Sp), D E Ryan, G Lockerbie (Eng).
9.00 (2.00) W-Y Huang (Chn), D Brooks (Eng), C Doak (Sco),
9.10 (2.10) J Morrison (Eng), S Hansen (Den), O Fisher (Eng),
9.20 (2.20) D Gleeson, S Benson (Eng), LGagli (It).
9.30 (2.30) A Snobeck (Fra), A Harto (Den), S Power.
10th Tee (1st Tee)
7.30 (12.30) R Gonzalez (Arg), G Havret (Fra), R Wattel (Fra),
7.40 (12.40) Peter Lawrie, G Maybin, B Rumford (Aus).
7.50 (12.50) R McIlroy, S Lowry, T Bjorn (Den).
8.00 (1.00) Paul Lawrie (Sco), A Quiros (Sp), P Casey (Eng).
8.10 (1.10) P McGinley, M Ilonen (Fin), S Gallacher (Sco).
8.20 (1.20) D McGrane, S Jamieson (Sco), T Levet (Fra).
8.30 (1.30) A Hansen (Den), P Larrazabal (Sp), S Dyson (Eng).
8.40 (1.40) C Paisley (Eng), G Moynihan (Am), M Wiegele (Aut).
8.50 (1.50) E Goya (Arg), J Edfors (Swe), C Lee (Sco).
9.0 (2.0) R-J Deerksen (Ned), D Fichardt (SA), P Price (Wal).
9.10 (2.10) J Campillo (Sp), S Webster (Eng), K Phelan Am.
9.20 (2.20) A Tadini (It), A Sullivan (Eng), R McEvoy (Eng).
9.30 (2.30) R Coles (Eng), S Henry (Sco), R Pugh Am (Wal).
1st Tee (10th Tee)
12.30 (7.30) R Whitson Am, C Del Moral (Sp), M Delpodio (It).
12.40 (7.40) R Sterne (SA), J M Olazabal (Sp), M Hoey.
12.50 (7.50) G McDowell, P Harrington, J Donaldson (Wal).
1.00 (8.00) D Clarke, F Molinari (It), R Fisher (Eng).
1.10 (8.10) S Khan (Eng), M Warren (Sco), J M Singh (Ind).
1.20 (8.20) S Thornton, J Luiten (Ned), P Uihlein (US),
1.30 (8.30) R Cabrera-Bello (Sp), R Jacquelin (Fra), R Rock (Eng).
1.40 (8.40) D Van Derr Valt (SA), R Finch (Eng), F Andersson-Hed (Swe).
1.50 (8.50) A Dunbar, E De La Riva (Sp), JB Hansen (Den).
2.0 (9.0) LJensen (Den), M Nixon (Eng), M Tullo (Chi),
2.10 (9.10) A Canizares (Sp), P Sjoland (Swe), F Zanotti (Par).
2.20 (9.20) G Stal (Fra), M Kieffer (Ger), T Fleetwood (Eng).
2.30 (9.30) M Southgate (Eng), P Whiteford (Sco), R Bland (Eng).
10th Tee (1st Tee)
12.30 (7.30) R Davies (Wal), J Parry (Eng), J G Kelly.
12.40 (7.40) J Walters (SA), N Fasth (Swe), G Shaw.
12.50 (7.50) C Macauley (Sco), C Lloyd (Eng), O Floren (Swe).
1.00 (8.00) M Lampert (Ger), A Levy (Fra), M Murphy.
1.10 (8.10) M Campbell (NZ), SSP Chowrasia (Ind), J Sjolholm (Swe).
1.20 (8.20) S Kjeldsen (Den), J Van Zyl (SA), G Storm (Eng).
1.30 (8.30) V Dubuisson (Fra), Jbe Kruger (SA), R Santos (Por),
1.40 (8.40) M A Carlsson (Swe), D Howell (Eng), T Lewis (Eng).
1.50 (8.50) R Green (Aus), C Cevaer (Fra), D Drysdale (Sco).
2.00 (9.00) J-B Gonnet (Fra), B Stone (SA), M Baldwin (Eng).
2.10 (9.10) S Wakefield (Eng), M Lundberg (Swe), A Kaleka (Fra).
2.20 (9.20) J M Lara (Sp), M Lafeber (Ned), B Trainor.
2.30 (9.30) D Mooney, P Hedblom (Swe), B Akesson (Swe).