Round up - "Lowry has the confidence I wish I had"
Paul McGinley at Lahinch for this week’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open media day. Picture: Kenneth O’Halloran

Paul McGinley at Lahinch for this week’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open media day. Picture: Kenneth O’Halloran

Paul McGinley believes Shane Lowry's Jekyll and Hyde form could help the Offaly man become a Ryder Cup star.

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open host — who spoke about initially feeling "despondent" when Rory McIlroy ruled out an appearance at Lahinch — admits that Lowry has the same streaky DNA as golf's big-time players.

"Shane's got the DNA of golfer I wish I was," McGinley said of Lowry who has sandwiched four missed cuts between a win and a third-place finish.

"Professional golf is not about being a steady Eddie. And I made a lot of cuts and had a lot of 20ths and a lot of 15ths.

"When I got hot, my confidence level got to eight out of ten. But when Shane gets confident, or Darren Clarke got confident, it's 9.99. They were off the scale with confidence.

"That generally turned itself into a win or a second-place finish. And that's huge cheques, huge world ranking points, huge order of merit points and huge Ryder Cup points. 

"Those are the things that determine the success you have from year to year."

With Ian Poulter added to the Irish Open field alongside Lowry, Louis Oosthuizen, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington (with more big names potentially still to come), McGinley's fears about the Irish Open field have dissipated.

Unlike his 2015 Ryder Cup captaincy, where he said "the answer to every request was 'yes'," he's had to work hard to build the field for Lahinch.

"This is different," he said. "I’m on the back foot on a lot of things here.  I’m having to bob and weave and work through it, and initially, I was so despondent thinking, ‘I’ve not got a good feeling here, this is frightening’.

"Then the Rory news was broken, I thought, ‘Oh my God, where are we going to go, how are we going to fix that up?’

"I spoke to Jay Monahan, who runs the PGA Tour,  and he said if you had three or four of the big-name guys and those [lower] tiers coming in, ‘that’s the DNA of a modern golf tournament’ unless you’re running a World Golf event, a major championship or The Players."

Lowry and Harrington did not get to start in the PGA Tour's storm-delayed Zurich Classic of New Orleans, where Seamus Power and David Hearn and Graeme McDowell and Henrik Stenson have also teamed up. Scores

The Island’s Paul McBride. Picture: USGA

The Island’s Paul McBride. Picture: USGA

At the Trophee Hassan II, Paul Dunne fought back from two over after three holes to shoot a level par 73 as Jordan Smith shot a seven-under 66 to lead by one from Spain's Alejandro Cañizares. Scores

Michael Hoey followed an eagle three at his 17th hole with a closing double bogey five after a visit to water for a 74 and share 57th with Gavin Moynihan who was five-over after starting 7-4-7 before playing his last 11 holes in four-under.

It was also a trying day for the Maguire twins in the Ladies European Tour's Lalla Meryem Cup on the adjacent Blue Course at Royal Dar Es Slam.

Sweden's Lina Boqvist made nine birdies a seven-under 66 to lead compatriot Camilla Lennarth and Spain's Nuria Iturrios by two strokes, but Leona Maguire was tied 61st after a three-over 76 and Lisa 115th after an 81. Scores

There was better news for the Irish in the Turkish Airlines Open where The Island's Paul McBride and Derry's Ruaidhri McGee carded six-under 66's to share seventh place, just four strokes behind Francesco Laporta. 

The Italian made four eagles in a blistering, 10-under 62 to lead by two shots from the Netherlands' Darius Van Driel with Naas' Conor O'Rourke 21st after making eight birdies in a 68. Scores

Cormac Sharvin was 94th after a 72, but Gary Hurley had to finish birdie-birdie for a 74 as Jonny Calwell and Robin Dawson struggled to 76’s.

On the LPGA Tour, Stephanie Meadow was tied for 19th, five shots behind leaders Stacey Lewis and Hannah Green after opening with one-under 70 in the Hugel-Air Premia LA Open at Wilshire Country Club. Scores

Meanwhile, Holywood’s Tom McKibbin (16) opened with an eight under 64 to lead the prestigious54-hole Sage Valley Junior Invitational by two strokes. Scores