Campbell Ready for Repeat

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04 Nissan Irish OpenThe European Tour gets back on track after last week's Open Championship with the 49th edition of the Nissan Irish Open.
 
First played in 1927, the Irish Open will be played for the first time at the County Louth Golf Club, one of Ireland's great links courses and part of the rotation that showcases the country's wonderful golf courses.
 
Michael Campbell will return to defend the title he won in a playoff over Thomas Bjorn and Peter Hedblom in 2003. In fact, Campbell has won a event in Ireland in each of the past two seasons, first at the Smurfit European Open at The K Club in 2002 and then last year's victory, his sixth title on the European Tour.
 
Campbell, who started the year off well before missing three of four cuts in late May through early July, has seen some good fortune of late. He had strong showing at the Barclays Scottish Open - he just missed out on a playoff with winner Thomas Levet - that vaulted him into the British Open where he had a wonderful start before a so-so weekend left him in a tie for 20th.
 
Joining Campbell in Ireland are Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Bjorn, Trevor Immelman and Ian Poulter. Both Clarke and Harrington are trying to become the first Irishman to win the country's championship since John OLeary back in 1982.
 
Clarke had a solid week at the Open, finishing in a tie for 11th after solid third and fourth rounds at Royal Troon. Harrington, meanwhile, had quite a disappointing showing, failing to make the cut following a 5-over-par 76 in the opening round.
 
The Golf Channel will have live coverage of the Nissan Irish Open beginning Thursday at 11:30 a.m. (ET).
 
A record purse of $2,357,000 is up for grabs with $392,000 going to the winner.
 
The event next year will move to Carton House Golf Club in Kildare and will be played on the Montgomerie course. Opened in June 2003, it is named, of course, after Colin Montgomerie and is the Scotsman's second course design and his first in Ireland and the UK.
 
Past champions for the Nissan Irish Open include Seve Ballesteros, Ben Crenshaw, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie and Ian Woosnam. Montgomerie,Ballesteros, Faldo and Langer hold the record for most wins in the event with three apiece.
 
Related links:
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - Nissan Irish Open