Irish Open (golf)
|Location||Ireland - varies, in 2014:
Royal County Down, Newcastle, Northern Ireland
|Course(s)||Royal County Down|
|Length||7,186 yards (6,571 m)|
|Prize fund||€2.0 million|
|Tournament record score|
|Aggregate||266 Colin Montgomerie (2001)
266 Ross Fisher (2010)
|To par||−21 Christy O'Connor Jnr (1975)
−21 Bernhard Langer (1984)
In 2015 the Irish Open will be the first with Rory McIlroy hosting and his charitable foundation as the main benefactor. The Royal County Down in Northern Ireland will be the host course and Dubai Duty Free will become the lead sponsor. The 2014 Irish Open was one of the qualifying events for the Open Championship. The leading three players, who were not already qualified and who finished in the top ten, qualified for the 2014 Open Championship. The event was won by Mikko Ilonen by one stroke over Edoardo Molinari.
The Irish Open has generally been played in June, July, or August, but from 2004 to 2009 it was played in May, the week before the BMW PGA Championship. In 2010 and 2011 the tournament was moved to a later date at the end of July, while in 2012 and 2013 it was played in late June, the week after the BMW PGA Championship. In 2014 it was moved to the week after the U.S. Open.
The Irish Open enjoys one of the largest galleries on the European Tour. In 2010, the Irish Open at Killarney Golf & Fishing Club had an attendance of 85,179 over four days, second only to the BMW PGA Championship. In 2011, the Irish Open at Killarney Golf & Fishing Club tallied in excess of 86,500 over four days. This was again the second highest on the European Tour to the BMW PGA Championship. In 2012, the Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club had a record attendance of 112,000 over four days; 131,000 over the six days. This was the only time a European Tour event had sold out prior to play on all four days and was the highest attendance ever recorded on the European Tour.
Since 2008 it has been the only European Tour event played in Ireland. The European Open was held at the K Club in Straffan for thirteen years from 1995 to 2007 while the 2007 Seve Trophy and the 2006 Ryder Cup were the last major team competitions played in Ireland.
Following the departure of Nissan as title sponsor in 2006, Adare Golf Club, part of the Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort in County Limerick, had planned to host the tournament for three years, from 2007 to 2009. After two years, it was announced in January 2009 that they could no longer sustain the losses incurred by hosting the event for a third year. In early March, the European Tour confirmed the national championship would return to County Louth Golf Club, Baltray, which had last hosted in 2004, with a new sponsor, 3 Mobile.
Pre-revival of Irish Open name, and European Tour sanctioning
|2015||Royal County Down||Down||Ulster|
|1||Christy O'Connor Snr||4||1964, 1966, 1967, 1972|
|2||Colin Montgomerie||3||1996, 1997, 2001|
|2||Bernhard Langer||3||1984, 1987, 1994|
|2||Nick Faldo||3||1991, 1992, 1993|
|2||Seve Ballesteros||3||1983, 1985, 1986|
|6||Sam Torrance||2||1981, 1995|
|6||Ian Woosnam||2||1988, 1989|
|6||Mark James||2||1979, 1980|
|6||Neil Coles||2||1965, 1971|
|6||Harry Bradshaw||2||1947, 1949|
|6||Ernest Whitcombe||2||1928, 1935|
|6||Bob Kenyon||2||1931, 1933|
- "The Irish Open". PGA European Tour. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Irish Open prize money increased". BBC Sport. 4 March 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2009.
- "Purse is down but Rory will be there". Irish Times. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "Irish Open: tournament history". European Tour. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "The Irish Open - Past Winners". Irish Golf Desk. Retrieved 28 July 2011.