IRISH OPEN | RORY MCILROY
Could the Irish Open be the next 'biggest party in golf'? Well, if Rory McIlroy has his way, it may just be that.
It turns out McIlroy had some representatives from his Foundation at last week's Waste Management Phoenix Open on the PGA Tour, with the four-time major winner keen to take some ideas into consideration for the Irish Open after record crowds attended TPC Scottsdale, with 201,000 fans there on Saturday and a total attendance for the week of 618,365.
McIlroy told the Guardian: “My commitment to making the Irish Open as successful as it can possibly be is well known,” he said. “If we can learn anything at all from such a huge event on the PGA Tour, that can only be a good thing. I was delighted the foundation was given the chance to learn more about what has made Phoenix so popular.”
As well as attracting record crowds, the Waste Management Phoenix Open also raised $9m for local organisations.
Hosted by the Rory Foundation, the Irish Open was rejuvenated last year with a sell-out event a Royal County Down, while this year’s tournament at The K Club has received a prize fund hike of €1.5m to €4m. But in comparison, for a tournament that is so highly regarded for the number of fans that turn out for the event, the week's attendance figures were 107,000, significantly dwarved by the numbers at TPC Scottsdale.
McIlroy disappointed the large home crowds back then, missing the cut after an opening round of 80 in a field which included the likes of Rickie Fowler, Martin Kaymer and Sergio Garcia. Soren Kjeldsen won the tournament, defeating Eddie Pepperell and Bernd Wiesberger in a play-off.
Irish Open :: Would you like to see TPC Scottsdale-esque crowds?
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