herald

Tuesday 22 August 2017

... while it's a whole new ball game as BOD hits the fairway

IT'S a whole new ball game for Brian O'Driscoll in retirement.

But in a far cry from the average golfing enthusiast, he'll be making his debut at St Andrew's today after being drawn in the opening four ball in the Dunhill Links Trophy.

The former Leinster and Ireland captain will tee-off in the annual pro-am event played over three of Scotland's most famous courses, including Carnoustie and Kingsbarn.

Pictured getting in a few practice shots alongside Ireland's own Shane Lowry, he looked like a man with a mission as he got better accustomed with the course.

While his former team-mates will be tackling Munster at the Aviva Stadium this Saturday, our most-capped rugby player will be looking to show his impressive ball skill in a different sport as he takes on the ambitious challenge.

The all-rounder, who's a single-handicap golfer, will play alongside England's Oliver Fisher, who's good friends with Rory McIlroy - who's also playing in the tournament, fresh from his super Ryder Cup performance.

O'Driscoll and Fisher, who tees off at 9am today, has been joined in their four-ball team by former Irish Open runner-up Robert Rock and CNBC broadcaster Joe Kernen.

The rugby hero is clearly enjoying one of the most active retirements from the sport, given his stint with Newstalk's Off the Ball, his slot with BT Sport and his forthcoming biography.

He will also welcome in his second baby with wife Amy next month. But he's not the only Irishman who'll be donning some natty golf trousers and taking to the fairways this weekend.

Also taking part is The Fall hunk Jamie Dornan, who's starring in the much-awaited 50 Shades of Grey movie, which is due out in February 2015.

Hailing from Holywood in Co Down - the same town as McIlroy - he joked how there was no confusing himself with the Ryder cup golfer.

"l'll be one of two people playing from Holywood, County Down. The other being Rory McIlroy. I'd say your money's safer with Rory," he said.

hnews@herald.ie

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