Woods And McIlroy Play Ballybunion In Open Championship Tune-Up

The pair were on-site at the famous Ballybunion Golf Club in preparation for next week's 150th Open

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy pose for a photo
(Image credit: Facebook: Mags Bowden-Lynch/Twitter @TWlegion)

Tiger Woods has been tracked down in Ireland after refusing to tell the media where he was planning to practise his links golf ahead of next week's 150th Open.

"I am," Woods confirmed if he was planning to remain in Ireland following the JP McManus Pro-Am before denying to tell media where he was heading. "No, I don't want to tell you because I don't want everyone coming down and watching us," he said. 

Good thinking from Woods who was followed by a helicopter earlier this year when scouting out Southern Hills ahead of the PGA Championship.

Well, the 15-time Major winner was spotted playing Ballybunion on the west coast along with four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy. The two friends and Florida residents have skipped this week's Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club, with McIlroy not being a fan of the course and Woods currently still playing a Majors-only schedule following his car accident in February 2021. 

Images emerged on social media of the pair playing one of the best golf courses in Ireland on Tuesday after apparently arriving by helicopter courtesy of JP McManus. Woods has always tended to tune up his links game in Ireland ahead of Open week and this year looks to be no exception.

They're not the only tour pros to have visited Ballybunion over the last week, with Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler all playing the course, as well as Lahinch, prior to the JP McManus Pro-Am.

Social media coverage of Woods and McIlroy at Ballybunion:

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Elliott Heath
Elliott Heath

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x