Northern Ireland news

GAA legends given golf master-class at Irish Open course in Donegal

Golfer Shane Lowry is a keen GAA supporter

TWO GAA legends were given a golf master-class yesterday as the two sports were combined at the Irish Open in Co Donegal.

Fresh from his Ulster GAA senior football championship win, Donegal captain Michael Murphy joined Kerry football star Kieran Donaghy on the fairways at Ballyliffin.

Both men swapped the football for a golf ball as they were given tips on their swing by Irish golfers Paul Dunne and Shane Lowry.

Ahead of teeing offing off in the Irish Open Pro Am, the four sportsmen had to hit a specially installed set of GAA posts set up on the course for the 'GAA target challenge', before trying their luck gaelic football style.

As they aimed for the target under the crossbar, Dunne and Lowry joked with the two men as they tried to pass on their knowledge of their game.

And as both footballers found the golfing challenge difficult, striking the target few times, Murphy admitted: "I don't get out on the course as much as I used to".

He told the large crowds that had gathered to watch, including many children who were sporting Donegal GAA jerseys, that he was proud that the Irish Open was being held in his home county.

"There's no place like it on earth," he said.

"It's the scenery, the people and the golf."

Kerry GAA legend Donaghy was also feeling little optimism about his golfing prowess, telling the crowds "If we shout fore, duck fast".

"It's different when you're playing a game that you're not so good at," he joked.

For Shane Lowry, it was not a surprise that he was selected to take part in the GAA challenge given his strong connections to the game.

The 2016 US Open runner-up is a staunch GAA supporter with members of his family having considerable credentials in the game.

His father Brendan was part of the famous Offaly team of 1982 and his uncle Sean was also in the Faithful County starting line-up that day.

Lowry has previously said the colour of his golfing attire is tied to his GAA connections. He often wears black and white, the colours of Clara, his club in his native Offaly, whose own colours are the same.

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