07 Sep 2023 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: Scott ends 21-year Irish absence

by Tony Webeck

Adam Scott Irish Open
Adam Scott returns to the Irish Open for the first time in 21 years this week at The K Club. Photos: Logan Whitton/Getty Images; Stephen Munday/Getty Images (inset)

Adam Scott will tee it up in Ireland’s national open for the first time in 21 years when the Horizon Irish Open begins at The K Club in County Kildare on Thursday.

The Irish Open played an integral role in establishing Scott as a world-class player, finishing tied for 10th at Ballybunion in his rookie season in 2000.

Remarkably, it was his third top-10 finish in his first four starts on the DP World Tour as he went on to finish 103rd on the moneylist to retain his status.

A year later he played his way into the final group alongside eventual champion Colin Montgomerie at Fota Island Resort (inset) and in 2002 was tied for 27th at the same venue, his second round of 66 bettered only by Alex Cejka’s 65.

But it has been more than two decades since he has returned, an earlier than anticipated end to his PGA TOUR season allowing him to add it to the schedule leading into next week’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Scott is not the only Aussie dusting off the sticks in Ireland after a short hiatus.

On the back of his breakout summer in the United States and following a month back home in Perth watching his beloved Fremantle Dockers, Min Woo Lee returns to Europe for his 12th start on the DP World Tour this season.

Bolstered by top-five finishes at both co-sanctioned Australian PGA and Australian Open tournaments and a tie for second at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Lee enters this week sixth in the Race to Dubai standings.

Currently No.50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Lee can earn one of 10 PGA TOUR cards that will be given to the highest finishers not already exempt on the Race to Dubai standings at season’s end.

More than 5,500 kilometres on the other side of the Atlantic, Lee’s sister Minjee Lee will spearhead the Aussie charge at the Kroger Queen City Championship in Ohio.

Now ranked No.13 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Ranking, Lee has just one top-10 finish to her name since her runner-up result at the Cognizant Founders Cup in May when she lost to Jin Young Ko in a playoff.

LPGA Tour-bound in 2024, Gabi Ruffels has accepted a tournament invitation to play along with fellow Aussies Karis Davidson, Sarah Kemp, Stephanie Kyriacou, Grace Kim and Su Oh.

There are 10 Australians playing the Japan Golf Tour-Asian Tour co-sanctioned Shinhan Donghae Open in Korea while Sydney’s Jason Hong can secure an exemption into Second Stage of PGA TOUR Qualifying School at the PGA TOUR Canada season finale in Alberta.

Entering the Fortinet Cup Championship 22nd in the Fortinet Cup standings, Hong can earn conditional status on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2024 if he can climb inside the top five but needs only to stay inside the top 25 to secure a spot at Second Stage of Q School.

Round 1 tee times AEST

DP World Tour Horizon Irish Open The K Club, Straffan, Co. Kildare, Ireland 4.50pm* Shane Lowry, Min Woo Lee, Ryan Fox (NZ) 5.20pm* Thriston Lawrence, Daniel Hillier (NZ), Aaron Rai 6pm* Jason Scrivener, Matt Wallace, Søren Kjeldsen 10pm Tyrrell Hatton, Luke Donald, Adam Scott

Defending champion: Adrian Meronk Past Aussie winners: Ossie Pickworth (1950), Brett Rumford (2004), Lucas Herbert (2021) TV times: Live 10pm-3am Thursday, Friday; Live 11pm-2.30am Saturday; Live 11pm-3am Sunday on Fox Sports 503.

LPGA Tour Kroger Queen City Championship Kenwood Country Club (Kendale Cse), Cincinnati, Ohio 10.03pm Karis Davidson, Brianna Do, Frida Kinhult 10.14pm Minjee Lee, Andrea Lee, Linnea Strom 10.14pm* Grace Kim, Cheyenne Knight, Chanettee Wannasaen 10.36pm Stephanie Kyriacou, Gaby Lopez, Alexa Pano 10.47pm* Brooke M. Henderson, Lydia Ko (NZ), Amy Yang 2.30am Dottie Ardina, Jaravee Boonchant, Sarah Kemp 2.52am* Yuna Nishimura, Haru Nomura, Su Oh 4.31am Yaeeun Hong, Gabriela Ruffels, Mariah Stackhouse

Defending champion: Ally Ewing Past Aussie winners: Nil TV times: Live 6am-9am Friday, Saturday; Live 4am-7am Sunday, Monday on Fox Sports 503.

Japan Golf Tour/Asian Tour Shinhan Donghae Open Club 72 Country Club (Ocean Cse), Incheon, South Korea 8.10am Anthony Quayle, Byeong Jin Jae, Viraj Madappa 8.30am Yonggu Shin, Brad Kennedy, Tomoyasu Sugiyama 8.40am* Yang Ji Ho, Riki Kawamoto, Kevin Yuan 9am* Taehoon Ok, Scott Hend, Yubin Jang (a) 9.30am* Won Joon Lee, Minkyu Kim, Taihei Sato 1.10pm* Taehee Lee, Shintaro Kobayashi, Zach Murray 1.20pm* Sanghee Lee, Todd Sinnott, Inhoi Hur 1.20pm Sanghyun Park, Brendan Jones, Seungbin Choi 1.50pm Guntaek Koh, Ryo Katsumata, Travis Smyth 1.50pm* Ryuichi Oiwa, Junseok Lee, Jinsung Kim

Defending champion: Kazuki Higa Past Aussie winners: Nil TV times: Live 2pm-6pm Thursday, Friday; Live 3pm-5pm Saturday; Live 1pm-5pm Sunday on Fox Sports 503.

Ladies European Tour Big Green Egg Open Hilversumsche Golf Club, Netherlands Australasians in the field: Kirsten Rudgeley, Momoka Kobori (NZ), Hanee Song (NZ), Wenyung Keh (NZ)

Defending champion: Anna Nordqvist Past Aussie winners: Corinne Dibnah (1993), Stephanie Kyriacou (2021)

Challenge Tour Challenge de España Club de Golf Playa Serena , Almería, Spain 6.30pm Blake Windred, Alejandro Aguilera, Vitor Lopes

Defending champion: Jens Dantorp Past Aussie winners: Nil

PGA TOUR Canada Fortinet Cup Championship Country Hills Golf Club, Calgary, Alberta 3.40am Noah Steele, Jason Hong

Defending champion: Wil Bateman Past Aussie winners: Nil

Epson Tour Black Desert Resort Championship Soldier Hollow Golf Club (Silver Cse), Salt Lake City, Utah Australasians in the field: Robyn Choi, Hira Naveed, Amelia Garvey (NZ), Cassie Porter

Defending champion: Inaugural event Past Aussie winners: Nil

Champions Tour Ascension Charity Classic Norwood Hills Country Club, St Louis, Missouri Australians in the field: Stuart Appleby, Richard Green, Mark Hensby, David McKenzie, Rod Pampling, John Senden

Defending champion: Padraig Harrington Past Aussie winners: Nil TV times: Live 3am-6am Saturday; Live 7am-9am Sunday, Monday on Fox Sports 503.

Legends Tour WCM Legends Open de France Golf de Saint-Cloud, France 5.30pm Peter Fowler, Philip Walton 6.30pm* Paul Streeter, Jason Norris 7.06pm Michael Campbell (NZ), Thomas Levet 7.18pm* Robert Coles, Michael Long (NZ)

Defending champion: Gary Marks Past Aussie winners: Nil

LET Access Series Rose Ladies Open The Melbourne Club At Brocket Hall, England 9.50pm Kristalle Blum, Clara Moyano Reigosa, Cecilie Leth-Nissen 10.30pm* Georgina Blackman, Kelsey Bennett, Corinne Viden 10.40pm* Amy Walsh, Ebba Hellman, Clara Young

Defending champion: My Leander Past Aussie winners: Nil

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