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Dublin: 22 °C Thursday 16 July, 2020

Paul McGinley forced to withdraw as the final round of the Irish Open gets under way

Winds of up to 40km/h are forecast for Royal County Down.

McGinley had performed well in the first three rounds.
McGinley had performed well in the first three rounds.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

PAUL MCGINLEY HAS been forced to withdraw from the final round of the Irish Open with a back injury as conditions continue to deteriorate at Royal County Down.

The former Ryder Cup captain becomes the seventh player to pull out this week as winds of up to 40km/h continue to make scoring extremely difficult at the iconic links course.

The strong gales meant green staff decided against cutting the putting surfaces overnight, although it’s hoped the rain stays away for the large galleries expected for the conclusion of an absorbing week of golf.

Despite the weather, it promises to be an exciting afternoon with a host of players still in contention and in hot pursuit of leader Soren Kjeldsen.

The Dane hasn’t won in six years but holds a two shot lead from Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Maximilian Kieffer, who carded a course record 65 on Saturday.

The leaders tee-off from 12.30pm but the early starters are thought to have got the better of the conditions.

screenshot.1433071402.78118 Source: graeme_mcdowell/Instagram

Pádraig Harrington, who’s hopes of staying in the hunt for a second Irish Open crown were blown away yesterday, is six-over-par for the day.

Chilean Mark Tullo has carded a level par round of 71, a fine effort given the conditions.

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Ryan Bailey

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