Morning report from Team Ireland on Day Eight of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

JULY 31st, 2021: Play is currently underway for Rory McIlroy, in Round 3 of the Men’s Individual Stroke Play.


Men’s Individual Stroke Play, Round 3 – Rory McIlroy, 69, 66, 67 – T5 after Round 3

The third round of the Men’s Individual Stroke Play was played today, with Team Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry continuing their run of good form to keep in contention at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Tokyo.

With a round of 68 for Lowry, he moves to 10-under and into a tie for 9th while McIlroy sits 1 shot further ahead on 11-under after a round of 67.

Playing alongside each other, the pair both started the day on 7-under par and McIlroy admits it was a great way to stay relaxed.

“I was sort of trying to keep pace with him on the front 9, he got off to a great start,” explained McIlroy. “Then it sort of felt like he was trying to keep pace with me on the back, he got unlucky on 14 with the ball getting stuck up the tree. It was really good to play with him, we fed off each other, we kept it really relaxed out there, like it’s been all week. It would have been great to get to play with one another again tomorrow but it looks like we’re probably going to be a group apart, but it was good fun and I think it was good for both of us to keep us relaxed.”

Despite playing as individuals and not necessarily as a team, both players were keen to support one another and cheer each other on.

“I think we were trying to spur each other on,” said Lowry. “Obviously I’m competing against him so I want to beat him, but I want to see him play well too. I want to see the two of us up on the leader board, it’s nice to see the two Irish flags up on the first page of the leader board.”

McIlroy sits just three shots off the lead which is held by Xander Schauffele of the United States on 14-under par. His plan for tomorrow’s final round is simple.

“Give it my all,” he said. “It’s the last opportunity to do this for another three years – usually it’s four – so it’s just to go out there and give it my all. Leave it all out there and hopefully it’s enough.”


Ireland’s quarter-final hopes came to a formal end as they lost out to Great Britain this evening 2-0 in their final pool game to finish 5th. India’s 4-3 win over South Africa earlier in the day left a simple equation against the reigning champions – win or bust.  But, despite a battling performance, Britain produced a controlled performance to keep the Green Army at bay. Susannah Townsend swooped to score from their fifth penalty corner in the second quarter and Irish hopes faded when Hannah Martin guided in Ellie Rayer’s exceptional cross.

Ireland endeavoured to push on in the closing quarter, swapping out goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran – who impressed once again – for an extra outfielder for the closing stages. But GB defended resolutely to get the result which also assured their progression to the last eight.

For Ireland, it means a fifth place finish in the group stages of their maiden Olympic campaign, and last Saturday’s opening win over South Africa will live long in the memory, a special moment as Róisín Upton and Sarah Torrans’ goals earned a debut victory.

Nicci Daly who got her 200th cap in today’s match commented after the game, “We were confident going out against GB because we played them a good bit this year. We have played them a lot over the past few years – we know them quite well. We knew we could beat them, so we felt really good going out. We thought maybe it would happen for us.

“We just didn’t really perform consistently, it’s a bit disappointing, but it is what it is. It’s been a fantastic experience. It’s the Olympics, and at times we definitely matched the best in the world and we can be proud of that. And we can be proud of the team today. I think there’ll be a lot of positives to take forward for the team going into the next cycle.”

Team GB Athletes  

Kirsty Hegarty and Trap mixed teams partner missed out on the final by narrow margin.

Kirsty scoring 70/75 and Matt hitting 73/75 for a total of 143/150. This score would not be enough to see them through to a medal however, with a score of at least 146 needed for a chance at bronze.