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Irish Open 2000

Championship Golf - Murphy's Irish Open 2000
 

Ballybunion attracts Europe's best

Ballybunion Golf Club had the honour of hosting The Irish Open for the first time on the links of the Old Course at Ballybunion in 2000.
While Ballybunion may be difficult as the Old Course at St. Andrews, where the British Open was played in 2005, Ballybunion is always far tougher -- especially if the wind blows.
Tom Watson invariably included this links course in southwest Ireland on his pre-Open itinerary. He fell in love with it years ago.

Ballybunion Golf Quote:"After playing Ballybunion for the first time, a man would think the game of golf originated in Ballybubion,'' he said. "Ballybunion has a real wild look to the place,'' he said.
This week's field includes defending champion Sergio Garcia, past winners Ian Woosnam and Bernhard Langer, and Darren Clarke.
Most, though not all, of Europe's best will be here, the exceptions being Colin Montgomerie, Lee Westwood, and Paul Lawrie.
Seve Ballesteros called the course "a piece of art, a unique stretch of land.
"It made me feel the same way as when I first saw St. Andrews. The magic is the same,'' said the Spaniard, who won the second of his three British Opens at St. Andrews in 1984.
The winner could be one of Ballesteros's two compatriots, Jose Maria Olazabal or Miguel Angel Jimenez.
Irishman Padraig Harrington had never played the course before this week. He is coming off a fifth-place finish in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach 10 days ago.
"Pebble Beach, then Ballybunion,'' he said. "You don't always have events at such great venues.''
"It asks every question of you,'' Harrington added. "After 18 holes, you know you've been out there. It's very difficult mentally.''
Padraig Harrington hoping for home success

What the pros had to say about the most famous links course on earth.

On the 9th July 1998 Ballybunion played host to six of the worlds leading golfers. Tiger Woods, Payne Stewart (RIP), Mark O'Meara, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk and Andrew Magee tested their skills in preparation for the British Open.

 

"Having played the Old Course many times since my first visit in 1981, I am now of the opinion it is one of the best and most beautiful tests of links golf anywhere in the world."
Tom Watson - Millennium Captain Ballybunion Golf Club

 

"I heard so much about the place, and I am not disappointed"
Jack Nicklaus

On his visit to the course on the 12th of July 1989 'Golden Bear' played with his son Gary viewed by a gallery of 1,500 people.

 

"After playing Ballybunion for the first time, a man would think that the game originated there"
Tom Watson