Strong field for Irish Open
Lee Westwood and Miguel Angel Jimenez, two of Europe?s great competitors in the past decade, will play in the Irish Open at Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort. The event, which tees off on May 17, will be Westwood?s first in Ireland since Europe?s record-equalling Ryder Cup success last year ? where he remained unbeaten in all five matches. Westwood has won 16 European Tour titles, picked up 11 global wins and been a member of four winning Ryder Cup teams. Jimenez meanwhile, has won 13 times on the European Tour and featured in the successful 2004 Ryder Cup team ? he also has four top 10 finishes to his name this season. The two will be joined in a highly competitive field that includes defending champion Thomas Bjorn, Order of Merit winner Padraig Harrington, fellow Irishman Darren Clarke, and Major champions Paul Lawrie and Michael Campbell.
Scare for Harrington
Padraig Harrington has revealed that he underwent surgery three weeks ago to remove a skin cancer spot on his forehead. Thankfully it was only a sunspot and is healing well. Harrington spoke out on Thursday after shooting a 66 in the first round of the Wachovia Championship.
Wie will only play LPGA events
Michelle Wie (17) has pledged to dedicate her time to the Women?s Tour for the foreseeable future. The youngster grabbed the headlines when she played in a number of men?s competitions, only to consistently finish near the bottom of the pile. Wie has been recovering from a wrist injury since January but is set to return in time for the LPGA?s inaugural Ginn Tribute at the end of the month.
Woosnam?s worries are over for now
Ian Woosnam fears that a lingering injury would mean the end of his career have proved unfounded. The Welshman withdrew from last month?s Masters citing back pain and has not played since. However, experts have informed a relieved Woosnam that it has been a virus that has kept him out and not a return of the rheumatic disease that he has battled with for the past 20 years. The 2006 victorious Ryder Cup captain can now look forward to competing on the Seniors Tour when he turns 50 next March.
Ryder Cup stars at HSBC Invitational
Ryder Cup stars David Gilford and Peter Baker will compete in this year’s HSBC
Invitational at the South Staffordshire Golf Club. The competition, from June 6-8, will form the opening round of the PGA Midland Region?s Order of Merit. Baker, the course director, was one of Ian Woosnam?s vice captains when Europe romped to victory at The K Club last year. He was also a member of the 1993 team.
However, Gilford, who played in the 1991 and ?95 Ryder Cups, will provide stiff competition. In ?95 he was the joint leading European point scorer, helping the team beat America on foreign soil. On the last day of the event the Ryder Cup trophy will be on show.
Open Championship golf on BBC Radio Five Live
The BBC will be the place to keep up-to-date with the 136th Open Championship at Carnoustie. Not only will BBC1 and BBC2 carry live coverage of the lion?s share of the action but BBC Radio Five Live will be there for every shot. Coverage begins on Thursday July 19 with Nicky Campbell?s breakfast show (6-9am) providing all the days news and predictions, followed by John Inverdale presenting live coverage. Commentary will be headed by Iain Carter alongside John Murray, Mark Pougatch and Tony Adamson, and backed up by three-time Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallagher, former pro Jay Townsend and former European Tour players Mark Roe and Andrew Murray.