Irish Open: Water puts out McIlroy’s fire


Every golfer has nightmares about water at one time or another, even if you are the second leading player in the world rankings.

When there is water on the golf course, it attracts you like a magnet.

The Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy was the leader with 13 shots under par on the seventh hole of the last round of the Irish Open golf tournament on Sunday at the K Club in Kilroy.

But then fate struck him… water.

McIlroy hit the ball into the water with his approach and then his mourning began.

He also hit the ball into the water twice more, on the 11th and 16th holes, and his shot was gone with that.

McIlroy shot 74 in the final round to finish tied for 16th.

That left the door open for 25-year-old Swede Vincent Norrman to step up.

The young Swede teed off in 21st position and was tied for par after the first six holes. There was very little talk that he would win.

But then he caught fire and recorded seven birdies over the final 12 holes to finish at 274, 14 shots under par, in the clubhouse. He scored 65 shots in the final round.

It was only his second win in his professional career after winning the Barbasol Championship in America, jointly presented by the US PGA and European Series, two months ago.

The German Hurley Long was second on Sunday (275, -13), which secured him his playing rights in the European series and DP World Tour for 2024.

He was followed by the Irish Shane Lowry, the Australian Ryan Fox, Grant Forrest (Scotland) and South Africa’s Thriston Lawrence, who together were third on 276 (-12). Lawrence came to the fore when he shot 66 in the final round.

Of the other South Africans, Erik van Rooyen on 279 (-9), Bryce Easton 282 (-6), Hennie du Plessis 284 (-4) and Louis de Jager 285 (-3) also shared in the prize money.

* In the US LPGA Series’ Queen City Tournament decided at the Kenwood CC Kendale Country Club in Cincinnati, Australia’s Minjee Lee and England’s Charley Hull tied for a combined 272 (-16).

Lee won the shootout on the second playoff hole. It was her first win since winning the US Open in 2022.

China’s Ruoning Yin was third at 274 (-14), with America’s Ally Ewing fourth (276, -12) and Morgane Metraux (Switzerland), Melissa Reid (England), Mi-Hyang Lee (South Korea), Yuka Saso (Japan), Ariya Jutanugarn (Thailand) and Peiyun Chien (China) together fifth at 277 (-11).

South Africa’s Paula Reto was 23rd at 282 (-6).