Done and dusted. The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is over for 2017, and the winner was a worthy one. Rahm pulled away comfortably after that remarkable eagle on the par five 4th hole and it was catch up for everyone thereafter. Despite the afternoon rain, the scoring was exceptional. Rahm may have smashed records - his 24 under being the lowest of any Irish Open - but every Professional who played the weekend finished under par.
It was thrilling to see, although, in my opinion, the weather conditions did not allow Portstewart to display the true test she offers.
|The Championship Village kicking off an evening's entertainment|
It mattered little. Portstewart looked fabulous and while Sunday was wet, Saturday delivered glorious sunshine and the 450 million people watching on TV around the world must have been over-awed by the coastline's beauty and the links course's charms. Those at the tournament certainly had a stunning day to remember... even if Ireland's golfers got left behind in the birdie blitz.
|The 18th hole stands lie empty, although some early birds|
are prepared to wait a couple of hours to get ringside seats.
Sunday morning started quietly although that soon changed thanks to both Shane Lowry and Gavin Moynihan delivering fantastic rounds of seven under and eight under, respectively. The Irish journalists were not on hand to witness the back nine of the two Irishmen as we were attending a media announcement to declare Ballyliffin as the host of next year's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
|The Ballyliffin announcement|
I did get to see Shane playing a delicate chip on 16 (below)... but that was it for those two Irish boys.
Being in the Media Centre, as part of the 'golf media' has been an interesting, enthralling and educational experience... so a thank you to both the European Tour and the Irish Examiner for giving me the opportunity. I got to see some fabulous golf... and some not so fabulous golf... meet and interview interesting people, and see first hand how an operation of this size is run.
I tip my hat to the volunteers - the park & ride attendants particularly - who remained upbeat every day and met and helped everyone with a smile.
Roll on next year when the remote beauty of Inishowen will be on display.