European Tour: Dean Burmester, Jordan Smith, Aaron Rai lead Irish Open

It's a logjam atop the leaderboard at the European Tour's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open as three competitors—Dean Burmester, Jordan Smith (...)

European Tour: Dean Burmester, Jordan Smith, Aaron Rai lead Irish Open

It’s a logjam atop the leaderboard at the European Tour’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open as three competitors—Dean Burmester, Jordan Smith and Aaron Rai—are tied for the lead. Each man shot an opening round 5-under par 65 at the Galgorm Castle Golf Club in Ballymena, Northern Ireland.

South Africa’s Burmester got off to a fast start early in the day and found himself at 7-under after 12 holes. At that point, he had a chance to join Oliver Fisher as the only men in European Tour history with a round of 59. Liam Johnston came close on Sept. 10, posting a 61 at the Portugal Masters.

Alas, it was not to be, and a double bogey at No. 17 torpedoed Burmester’s chances of achieving the elusive mark.

“For 16 holes, I played flawless golf pretty much,” said the 31-year old. “I didn’t really miss a shot.

“A couple of great up and downs kept the momentum going and then unfortunately on 17 I fell asleep over a three-footer but other than that, honestly I played great.”

Burmester’s misstep left the door open for someone else to catch him. Smith and Rai did just that.

Aaron Rai putts on the 18th during day one of the Irish Open at Galgorm Castle Golf Club, Ballymena, Northern Ireland. Brian Lawless/PA Wire

A 27-year old Englishman, Smith had managed five top-40 finishes in eight events since the COVID-19 shutdown, and he kept things rolling at Galgorm Castle. In fact, he was one of only two players to avoid a bogey, and his five birdies catapulted him into a share of the clubhouse lead.

“I am happy with today,” Smith said. “I need to go work on my driving a little bit and holing out but apart from that, very happy.

“It is all weather dependent. If it stays like this it is going to be a challenge for everyone including myself, so more of the same, more good golf, and see how it goes.”

Rai, also from England, is the youngest of the three leaders. At 25 years of age, he made a relatively late charge with four birdies on the back nine. Although Rai was unable to take command on the par-5 18th, he was the only other player to go bogey-free on the day.

Sole possession of fourth place belongs to yet another Englishman, Toby Tree. His up-and-down performance, which included four birdies, two bogeys and an eagle, was ultimately good enough for 4-under par at 66.

Irish amateur James Sugrue is playing well on home soil. He leads his countrymen with a first-round 67 and sits T-3 with four other athletes: John Catlin (United States), Stephen Gallacher (Scotland), and the Swedish duo of Oscar Lengden and Rikard Karlberg.

Burmester will again start early at 2:40 a.m. ET, the first of Friday’s tee times. Smith will follow at 4:45 a.m., and Rai much later at 8:55 a.m. Golf Channel’s coverage will run from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Source : Golf Week More   

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Tiger Woods auctioning off autographs, clubs, unique golf trips for his TGR Foundation

If you're feeling generous with your money and actively looking for some exclusive memorabilia or a unique experience, Tiger Woods has the (...)

Tiger Woods auctioning off autographs, clubs, unique golf trips for his TGR Foundation

If you’re feeling generous with your money and actively looking for some exclusive memorabilia or a unique experience, Tiger Woods has the auction for you.

The 15-time major champion – and recent winner alongside teammate Justin Thomas of the Payne’s Valley Cup, which unveiled his new course at Big Cedar Lodge – has announced an auction of 21 items to benefit his TGR Foundation that is sure to have golf fans digging deep in their wallets.

Some of the bigger items you can bid on include a full golf simulator, a replica golf cart from “The Match,” a luxurious golf trip to Diamante Cabo San Lucas, a golf getaway to TGR Design’s Bluejack National, unique ticket packages for the 2021 Hero World Challenge and Genesis Invitational, a full custom club fitting by TaylorMade and more.

If you’re a collector, check out these autographs up for grabs:

  • 2019 Masters pin flag signed by Tiger
  • Monster golf bag signed by Tiger
  • Autographed Sports Illustrated cover of Tiger’s 2019 Masters win
  • Autographed photo of Tiger’s win at the Zozo Championship that tied Sam Snead’s PGA Tour record of 82 wins
  • Dustin Johnson-signed flag from the 2017 Genesis Open
  • Football autographed by NFL Hall of Famer Michael Strahan
  • Bubba Watson-signed pin flag from 2012 Masters
  • New York Yankees jersey autographed by Alex Rodriguez
  • Larry Fitzgerald autographed football
  • Tour Championship pin flag autographed by Tiger from 2018

You can also donate money to sponsor five students to participate in virtual TGR Learning Lab STEM courses, provide five first-generation college students access to career readiness workshops, sponsor 10 underserved students to attend college-access workshops and support a first-generation college student during the 2020-21 school year.

So, are you feeling lucky?

Source : Golf Week More   

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