European Tour pair hoping Irish eyes smile on them

Connor Syme and Calum Hill teed off in one of the European Tour’s strongest fields of the season so far on Thursday morning.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 10:07 am
Connor Syme plays a practice round ahead of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Mount Juliet Golf Club. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is underway at the Mount Juliet Estate in Co Kilkenny, with major winner Rory McIlroy amongst those aiming to top the leaderboard on Sunday afternoon.

Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood competes as do Open Championship winners Shane Lowry and Padraig Harrington.

Both Lowry and Harrington will be aiming to record a win in front of their home crowd – as will our hopes, Hill and Syme.

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Two two, Syme of Drumoig and Hill from Kinross, were back on tour last week at the BMW International Open.

Hill in particular returned in fine style, putting himself in contention over the weekend but unable to work himself to the top of the leaderboard.

The 26-year-old opened up with rounds of 69 and 68 to safely take him through to the weekend where a 72 on Saturday saw him drop back.

But there was a fine finish on Sunday, a 69 seeing Hill finish in a tie for 17th place on -10.

His performance won him 33.5 Race to Dubai points.

Syme, sadly, missed the cut and had to sit out the weekend’s play.

He opened with a 69 but a Friday 74 saw him slip further down the leaderboard and slightly adrift of the cut mark.

In terms of the Race to Dubai rankings, Hill sits in a healthy 28th place in the season long battle to be crowned the tour’s number one player with 25-year-old Syme further back in 74th.