What will the new year hold for Irish golf stars? The42

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To recap 2022: Shane Lowry and Seamus Power made fortunes by winning on the PGA Tour, Leona Maguire made history by winning on the LPGA Tour, Padraig Harrington made waves on the Champions Tour and Graeme McDowell made, er, headlines on the LIV Tour.

As for Rory McIlroy, he finished the year ranked world number one with top tens in all four majors, while winning three PGA Tour events, a FedEx Cup, and the Race to Dubai.

Oh, and he did it all while emerging as a crystal clear moral voice in leading the resistance to the hostile takeover of his sport by Saudi Arabia.

The moment his year seemed to catch on was during a final round of 64 at the Masters in April, capped off by a Tiger-style chip at No. 16 on 18.

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But as it turns out, the turning point was days ago and she was a bit baffled in her mundaneness. He was using the wrong ball. As McIlroy told The Sunday Independent at the end of last year, he switched to an older version of his sponsor’s Masters golf ball and immediately became more comfortable.

“Before Augusta, I was ranked No. 207 on the PGA Tour inside 125 yards; and since Augusta, I’m ranked No. 1.”

But with all the winnings that followed, so was it with yearning.

McIlroy remains without a major title since 2014, and losing it at last year’s Open was one of the saddest moments of his career. McIlroy led from the front on the final day, making no mistake. The problem was that Cameron Smith did too much right.

McIlroy’s ambition at the start of this year is the same as any other year: to win another major. And if he’s picky, it better be the masters to earn a place among the platinum class to win all four.

So maybe this is the year. As Lionel Messi recently showed, there need be no award still out of reach for the true greats. And given McIlroy’s form, consistency and utter tenacity across 2022, the signs are good. Last year’s amazing closing run wasn’t good enough to win last year, but it might be enough to do it this time. “I learned this place after 14 years of trying,” McIlroy smiled last year.

Other majors are on display at courts he previously conquered, with the Open Championship returning to Hoylake, venue of his 2014 triumph.

Last year’s Masters provided a glimpse into the absurd power of Irish golf right now, with McIlroy finishing second, Lowry tied for third and Power ranking in the top 30. Lowry and Power’s targets for the year were around September’s Ryder Cup in Rome. .

Bauer is striving to make the team for the first time, while Lowry, having had his first taste of competition in 2021, now wants to win it.

“I don’t just want to be part of the team, I want to be part of a winning team,” Lowry told the Irish Examiner recently. Because of this, Lowry is playing the Champions Cup in team format alongside Bauer this week.

irelands-shane-lowry-right-and-seamus-power-on-the-16-during-day-one-of-the-horizon-irish-open-2022-at-mount-juliet-estate-thomastown-co- Photos Kilkenny date Thursday 30 June - 2022

Scientific photo album
Seamus Power and Shane Lowry, pictured at the 2022 Irish Open.

Scientific photo album

Lowry and McIlroy are locks for the European squad, but Bauer may have to prove himself to join them. He starts the year outside of the automatic play-off places, with new captain Luke Donald picking half of his 12-man squad this time around.

Padraig Harrington, meanwhile, enjoyed an exciting debut year on the Champions Tour, winning four titles and finishing second on the overall money list, behind Stephen Alker despite having played four fewer events. At the top of that list he could be ambitious in 2023, and if he plays often enough, that’s a must based on last year’s level.

As well as another retirement tour. After last year’s upheaval and rupture, battle lines have been drawn between LIV and the PGA Tours, though the Saudi-backed sports launderette has arrested Mito Pereira for next year. Cam Smith’s defection at least puts a world-class player of age on LIV’s squad, though they’re still struggling to sell him as they’re still without a broadcast deal.

Off the course, LIV is still battling to award world ranking points in its events, but those still in the top 50 along with those qualified by other criteria will be allowed to compete in the Masters, revealing key divisions in an event that typically tries to herald standardization. The gentle.

Those splits will make headlines in Augusta, though Irish fans should keep an eye out for Matt McLean, the Belfast-born golfer who qualified by winning the Central American Amateur Championship at Irene Hills in September, beating Dublin’s Hugh Foley in a play-off. This victory also secured McClain’s place in the US Open.

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Elsewhere, if Leona Maguire chooses to return to Earth during the off-season, she will find herself navigating the broken shards of her shattered glass ceilings. Her stunning run at the 2021 Solheim Cup declared Maguire’s talent on a global scale and she maintained that trajectory on a grand scale throughout 2022.

In February, she became Ireland’s first winner on the LPGA Tour and then competed in two majors, finishing eighth at the US Open and then fourth at the Women’s Open at Muirfield, the 279-year-old club which admitted its first female members. 2019.

Leona Maguire after finishing on the 18th

Ben Brady/INPHO
Leona Maguire.

Ben Brady/INPHO/INPHO

Maguire finished the year one place outside the top ten in the world, and as the highest rated golfer in Europe. Her 2023 ambitions must extend to taking the next big step in winning a major, which would forever enshrine her as one of the most transformative Irish sportswomen of all time.

There are five major tournaments in the women’s game, with the US Open at Pebble Beach in June, and the Women’s Open held at Walton Heath, which hosted the 1981 Ryder Cup.

The Solheim Cup will be held in Andalusia from September 18, giving Maguire the chance to repeat her championships from the previous edition of the competition. Stephanie Mido, just outside the top 100 in the world, will have her work cut out for qualifying.

The Ladies Irish Open, meanwhile, was revitalized last year by Maguire’s presence and KPMG sponsorship of the title, and it was brought forward by three weeks in the 2023 calendar, as it otherwise would have been very close to the Solheim Cup.

The men’s event has also been on the move, overshadowed by last year’s star-studded JB McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor. McIlroy will play in an event scheduled for September 7th at the K Club. Set the Ryder Cup in place of the previous Ryder Cup.

The main men’s season will be over by the time he returns to Ireland, and perhaps the famine will be over by that time as well.

2023 key dates

Men’s

  • Players Championship – TPC Sawgrass, FL – March 9-12
  • US Masters – Augusta National, Georgia – April 6-9
  • PGA Championship – Oak Hill, NY – May 18-21
  • US Open – Los Angeles Country Club – June 15-18
  • Open Championship – Royal Liverpool, Holick – July 20-23
  • Irish Open – K Club, Kildare – 7-10 September
  • Ryder Cup – Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, Rome – 29th September – 1st October

for women

  • Chevron Championships – The Clubhouse in Carlton Woods, Texas – April 20-23
  • US Open – Pebble Beach, CA – June 6-9
  • PGA Championship – Paltrusol, NJ – June 22-25
  • Evian Championships – Evian Resort, France – July 20-23
  • Open Championship – Walton Heath, Tadworth – 3-6 August
  • Irish Open – Dromoland Castle, Clare – 31st August – 3rd September
  • Solheim Cup – Finca Cortesin, Andalusia, Spain – September 22-24

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