European Golf Tour
PGA European - The Irish Open Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, June 27th through Sunday, June 30th
SITE: Carton House Golf Club, Maynooth, County Kildare, Republic of Ireland
COURSE ARCHITECT: Colin Montgomerie (2003)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,271
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 426 Yds10 - Par 4 465 Yds
2 - Par 4 414 Yds11 - Par 4 477 Yds
3 - Par 3 220 Yds12 - Par 3 210 Yds
4 - Par 5 605 Yds13 - Par 4 338 Yds
5 - Par 4 474 Yds14 - Par 4 408 Yds
6 - Par 4 394 Yds15 - Par 5 554 Yds
7 - Par 3 192 Yds16 - Par 4 462 Yds
8 - Par 5 552 Yds17 - Par 3 176 Yds
9 - Par 4 391 Yds18 - Par 5 513 Yds
36 3,668 Yds36 3,603 Yds
Annual:  58th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (et),
  - Saturday/Sunday -- 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Jamie Donaldson
Runner-Up:  Anthony Wall, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Fabrizio Zanotti
Tournament Record:  266 (Colin Montgomerie, 2001; Ross Fisher, 2010)
54-Hole Record:  198 (Rolf Muntz, 2000)
36-Hole Record:  129 (Patrik Sjoland, 2000; Shane Lowry, 2009)
18-Hole Record:  61 (Graeme McDowell, 2009; Ross Fisher, 2010)
Course Record:  66 (Titch Moore, Oliver Wilson, Nick O'Hern, 2005;
  Thomas Bjorn, 2006)
Total Purse:  $2,617,944 (2,000,000 euros)
Shares:  1st Place - $437,128; 2nd Place - $291,419; 3rd Place - $164,187
2012 Finish
Jamie Donaldson270Mikael Lundberg275
Anthony Wall274David Drysdale276
Rafael Cabrera-Bello274Padraig Harrington276
Fabrizio Zanotti274Craig Lee276
Mark Foster275Six players at277
Past Irish Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2012Jamie Donaldson (270) -- Anthony Wall, Rafael Cabrera-Bello,
Fabrizio Zanotti
2011Simon Dyson (269) -- Richard Green
2010Ross Fisher (266) -- Padraig Harrington
2009*Shane Lowry (a) (271) -- Robert Rock
2008Richard Finch (278) -- Felipe Aguilar
2007*Padraig Harrington (283) -- Bradley Dredge
2006Thomas Bjorn (283) -- Paul Casey
2005*Stephen Dodd (279) -- David Howell
2004Brett Rumford (274) -- Padraig Harrington, Raphael Jacquelin
2003*Michael Campbell (277) -- Peter Hedblom, Thomas Bjorn
2002*Soren Hansen (270) -- Darren Fichardt, Richard Bland, Niclas Fasth
2001Colin Montgomerie (266) -- Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke,
Niclas Fasth
2000Patrick Sjoland (270) -- Fredrik Jacobson
1999Sergio Garcia (268) -- Angel Cabrera
1998*David Carter (278) -- Colin Montgomerie
1997Colin Montgomerie (269) -- Lee Westwood
1996Colin Montgomerie (279) -- Andrew Oldcorn, Wayne Riley
1995*Sam Torrance (277) -- Howard Clark, Stuart Cage
1994Bernhard Langer (275) -- Robert Allenby, John Daly
1993*Nick Faldo (276) -- Jose Maria Olazabal
1992*Nick Faldo (274) -- Wayne Westner
1991Nick Faldo (283) -- Colin Montgomerie
1990Jose Maria Olazabal (282) -- Frank Nobilo, Mark Calcavecchia
1989*Ian Woosnam (278) -- Philip Walton
1988Ian Woosnam (278) -- Nick Faldo, Manuel Pinero, Des Smyth,
Jose Maria Olazabal
1987Bernhard Langer (269) -- Sandy Lyle
1986Seve Ballesteros (285) -- Rodger Davis, Mark McNulty
1985*Seve Ballesteros (278) -- Bernhard Langer
1984Bernhard Langer (267) -- Mark James
1983Seve Ballesteros (271) -- Brian Barnes
1982John O'Leary (287) -- Maurice Bembridge
1981Sam Torrance (276) -- Nick Faldo
1980Mark James (284) -- Brian Barnes
1979Mark James (282) -- Ed Sneed
1978Ken Brown (281) -- Seve Ballesteros, John O'Leary
1977Hubert Green (283) -- Ben Crenshaw
1976Ben Crenshaw (284) -- Brian Barnes, Martin Foster, Billy Casper
1975Christy O'Connor Jr (275) -- Harry Bannerman
1974Not Held
1973Not Held
1972Not Held
1971Not Held
1970Not Held
1969Not Held
1968Not Held
1967Not Held
1966Not Held
1965Not Held
1964Not Held
1963Not Held
1962Not Held
1961Not Held
1960Not Held
1959Not Held
1958Not Held
1957Not Held
1956Not Held
1955Not Held
1954Not Held
1953E.Brown (272)
1952Not Held
1951Not Held
1950H.Pickworth (287)
1949H.Bradshaw (286)
1948D.Rees (295)
1947H.Bradshaw (290)
1946F.Daly (288)
1945Not Held
1944Not Held
1943Not Held
1942Not Held
1941Not Held
1940Not Held
1939A.Lees (287)
1938A.Locke (292)
1937B.Gadd (284)
1936R.Whitcombe (281)
1935E.Whitcombe (292)
1934S.Easterbrook (284)
1933E.Kenyon (286)
1932A.Padgham (283)
1931E.Kenyon (291)
1930C.Whitcombe (289)
1929Abe Mitchell (309)
1928E.Whitcombe (288)
1927George Duncan (312)

* - Won in Playoff

Note:Formerly called Carrolls Irish Open (1975-93), Murphy's Irish Open
(1994-2002), Nissan Irish Open (2003-06), 3 Irish Open (2009-10).

Top Contenders in the Field
Jamie Donaldsonmc---mcmc---mc13thT-21T-45Won
R. Cabrera-Bello------------T-37---T-20mcmcT-2
Fabrizio Zanotti---------------mc---mcmcT-2
Padraig HarringtonmcT-2T-511thWonT-31mc2ndmcT-7
Simon DysonT-71T-49T-13T-60T-7mcT-41mcWonT-10
Ross Fisher---------T-5mcT-24T-50WonT-17T-10
Rory McIlroy------mc------7thT-50T-35T-34T-10
Francesco Molinari------T-43T-56T-7mcdq8th---T-10
Paul Waring---------------66thT-61T-18---T-10
Graeme McDowellmcT-11mcmcT-31mcwdT-31T-25T-16
Paul Lawrie---mcmcT-37mcmcT-30T-14---T-33
Darren ClarkeT-47T-6417th3rd---T-16T-14T-12mcT-39
Shane Lowry------------------WonT-21mcT-51
Paul McGinleyT-33T-5T-28wdT-58T-16T-67T-14mcT-54
Damien McGraneT-47T-39---T-19T-12mcT-57T-35T-2164th
Robert Rock74thT-22---T-5mcmc2nddqmc65th
Joost Luiten---------------------T-9T-5966th
Richard Finch------T-22mcmcWonmcT-31mcmc
Michael CampbellWonT-22mcT-12mc---mcmcmcmc
Brett RumfordT-17WonT-49T-53T-52---T-8T-9wdmc
Stephen Dodd---T-39WonmcmcT-56T-25mcmc---
Thomas BjornT-2------WonT-52---T-25---------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Joost Luiten
Darkhorse - Paul Waring
Last Week's Pick to Win (Matteo Manassero) - Finished tied for 22nd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Thomas Bjorn) - Finished 2nd
The European Tour heads to Ireland this week for the Irish Open. The field is highlighted by major championship winners from Ireland -- Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington and Darren Clarke.

McIlroy, McDowell and Clarke are playing for the first time since the U.S. Open. McIlroy finished tied for 41st, while McDowell and Clarke missed the cut. Harrington finished tied for 21st at the U.S. Open and tied for 72nd last week at the Travelers Championship on the PGA Tour.

McIlroy is still looking for his first victory of the season after winning five times worldwide in 2012. McDowell has won twice this season -- once on the European Tour and once on the PGA Tour.

The tournament returns to Carton House Golf Club this year for the third time and first since 2006. Stephen Dodd (2005) and Thomas Bjorn (2006) were the previous winners at Carton House. Bjorn is playing well leading into this week, as he has posted three straight top-4 finishes, including runner-up performances in his last two events.

Last year, Jamie Donaldson shot a 6-under 66 in the final round to wrap up his first title on the European Tour. Donaldson was the only player to put together four rounds in the 60s at Royal Portrush and finished at 18-under-par 270. The victory was a long time coming for Donaldson, who made 253 starts on tour before getting a win. He was a three-time Challenge Tour titlist and twice finished as a European Tour runner-up. Donaldson became the third Welshman to win this event, after Ian Woosnam (1988-89) and Dodd (2005). Donaldson has since captured his second European Tour title earlier this season at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

Despite missing a birdie putt on 18th hole in regulation in 2009, Irish amateur Shane Lowry was victorious thanks to a 2-putt par on the third playoff hole. Lowry joined Pablo Martin and Danny Lee as the only three amateurs to win on the European Tour. He was the first player to win in his European Tour debut since American Ben Curtis won the British Open in 2003.

Harrington in 2007 held on to beat Bradley Dredge in a playoff to become the first Irishman in 25 years to win the European Tour's biggest event on the Emerald Isle. An exciting finish to the final round gave way to an anticlimactic playoff, when Dredge plugged his third shot at the par-5 18th into the bank of a pond on the way to a double-bogey. Harrington made par and became the first Irishman to win this event since John O'Leary in 1982.

In 2006, Bjorn birdied the 72nd hole on Monday to win. Bjorn closed with an even-par 72 to end at 5-under-par 283 for a 1-shot win over Paul Casey. Bjorn seemed out of the tournament after he opened with a 6-over 78 in the first round and trailed by nine shots. A course-record-tying 66 got him back to even-par after two rounds and a 5-under 67 in round three got him into contention. The tournament was plagued by weather issues, causing the Monday finish. Bjorn's opening-round 78 tied the highest first round score by a winner in European Tour history, set by George Burns at the 1975 Kerrygold International.

There have been 11 playoffs in tournament history, including five of the last 11 years. The 11 playoffs are the most at any one event on the European Tour.

Colin Montgomerie became the fourth player in event history to capture this title three times in 2001 when he led wire-to-wire, defeating Harrington, Clarke and Niclas Fasth by five shots. Montgomerie joined Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer and Seve Ballesteros as three-time winners.

There have been only six champions who have posted all four rounds in the 60s: Donaldson in 2012 (Royal Portrush); Soren Hansen in 2002 (Fota Island); Montgomerie in 2001 (Fota Island); Sergio Garcia in 1999 (Druids Glen); Langer in 1987 (Portmarnock); Langer in 1984 (Royal Dublin).

Montgomerie was the last player to win back-to-back (1996-97), while Faldo is the only player to win three consecutive years (1991-93). There have been four wire-to-wire winners: Christy O'Connor Jr. (1975), Langer (1987), Faldo (1992) and Montgomerie (2001).

Only seven times has an Irishman won this event: Lowry in 2009 (County Louth Golf Club), Harrington in 2007(Adare Manor), John O'Leary in 1982 (Portmarnock), O'Connor, Jr. in 1975 (Woodbrook), Harry Bradshaw in 1949 (Belvoir Park), Bradshaw in 1947(Royal Portrush) and Fred Daly in 1946 (Portmarnock). Americans have captured this event only twice, in 1976 and 1977, when Ben Crenshaw and Hubert Green won the tournament.

The European Tour moves to France next week for the Alstom Open de France in Paris, where Marcel Siem will defend his title.

06/25 16:14:58 ET

As of June 25, 2013, at 04:15 PM ET