The Irish Open will be held in Northern Ireland in 2015 and 2017, following the success of the 2012 tournament staged at Royal Portrush.
After a 62-year absence, record crowds gathered in Northern Ireland to watched Jamie Donaldson win at Royal Portrush two-years-ago, making it the European tour’s first-ever sold-out event.
This paved the way for the announcement that Royal County Down Golf Club will welcome the Irish Open in 2015, with the tournament returning in 2017 at Lough Erne Resort.
George O’Grady, Chief executive of the European Tour backed the plans.
“We are delighted to confirm today that the tournament will be back in Northern Ireland next year, at another magnificent links venue in Royal County Down, before returning again in 2017 at Lough Erne Resort.”
Northern Ireland boasts some of the world’s finest players and courses
He also praised the work done by those Northern Ireland authorities, in their bid to host the Irish Open for another two-years.
“We must acknowledge the vision and commitment of First Minister Peter Robinson, Minister Arlene Foster, and their colleagues within the Northern Ireland Executive and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board to secure the return of the Irish Open to Northern Ireland in 2015 and 2017, which further underlines the country’s presence on the world stage following the outstanding achievements of its players in recent years.”
O’Grady is right to credit the achievements of the country’s golfers.
Northern Ireland boasts some of the world’s finest players and courses – making it one of the best concentrations of golfing prowess anywhere in the world.
The small country has produced three major winners in recent years in Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy, and has some world-class courses.
World No.7 McIlroy spoke of his delight at the news: “We all thoroughly enjoyed the experience of playing an Irish Open in Northern Ireland two years ago so it is fantastic news that we will have another chance in 2015 and again in 2017.
“I’m sure the fans will come out and support us again and make it another week to remember.”
Given the anticipated high demand, the 2015 Irish Open is likely to be another all-ticket affair, with tickets going on sale with immediate effect via www.europeantour.com/tickets
Can the Irish Open’s in 2015 and 2017 replicate the success of the 2012 championship?
Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.