Shane Lowry reacts to his strong Irish Open start

Naas Conor O'Rourke qualifies for Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Lahinch

"I personally think if you're serious about winning the Open you've got to be playing tournament golf at least before it", Harrington, who lifted the Claret Jug in 2007 and 2008, said ahead of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Lahinch.

"I know I don't have to play as well as that for the next three days".

"The conditions were tough enough this afternoon, a lot of crosswinds, but i was just in that sort of mindset". I just wanted to take stock of my game and did not expect a 63 but it was a bit of a stroll in the park.

Graeme McDowell will be trying to avoid thinking about The Open Championship in his hometown of Portrush in two weeks as he bids to start his links golf season on a high at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open on Thursday. I was like, growing up on the golf course, should I be out here grinding?

Serena Williams to team up with Andy Murray in Wimbledon mixed doubles
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Lorenzo-Vera had earlier shrugged off the embarrassment of suffering a dreaded shank to post a five-under-par 65 as he chases a first European Tour title in the €6.2m event. "But I do think links golf is different", Harrington said of the season's final major at Portrush.

"Today, I did a lot of good things, holed a few putts here and there and got a few breaks". It would be nice if I did but we'll go out there and try and do more of the same. "I'd be a basket case if I didn't play the week before".

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland's Head of North America, added: "We're delighted that the NBC Golf Channel will broadcast from this week's Irish Open at Lahinch and along the Wild Atlantic Way, bringing our message about the world-class golf on offer here to a huge audience of potential American golf holidaymakers". You should be playing at least one, if not two, of the events running into it. It's now July and it feels like it's January to me.

However, Harrington bounced back with back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th before notching pars on the remainder of the back nine before nailing a fantastic birdie on the par-5 18th which included a superb bunker shot to get him within a few feet of the hole.

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