Irish Open (golf)

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Irish Open
Irish Open Logo 2014.jpg
Tournament information
Location Ireland – varies; in 2015:
Newcastle, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Established 1927, 88 years ago
Course(s) Royal County Down
Par 71
Length 7,186 yards (6,571 m)[1]
Tour(s) European Tour
Format Stroke play
Prize fund 2.5 million
Month played May
Tournament record score
Aggregate 266 Colin Montgomerie (2001)
266 Ross Fisher (2010)
To par −21 Christy O'Connor Jnr (1975)
−21 Bernhard Langer (1984)
Current champion
Denmark Søren Kjeldsen
Irish Open (golf) is located in Ireland
Fota Island
Fota Island
Royal Co. Down
Royal Co. Down
Carton House
Carton House
Royal Portrush
Royal Portrush
County Louth
County Louth
Druids Glen
Druids Glen
Mount Juliet
Mount Juliet
Belvoir Park
Belvoir Park
K Club
K Club

The Irish Open is a professional golf tournament on the European Tour. Beginning in 2015, the Irish Open is hosted by Rory McIlroy and his charitable foundation is the main benefactor; the title sponsor is Dubai Duty Free.

The Irish Open was first played in 1927 and was played annually, except for the war years, until 1950. There was a tournament in 1953 but the event was then not played again until revived in 1975. It has been contested annually since then. From 1963 to 1974 Carroll's sponsored a tournament, generally called the Carroll's International and in 1975 they became the sponsor of the Irish Open which became known as the Carroll's Irish Open.

Since 2014, the Irish Open has been one of the qualifying events for the Open Championship. The leading three players who are not already qualified and who finish in the top ten qualify.


The first Irish Open was played at Portmarnock Golf Club from 16 to 18 August 1927. There were 18 holes played on the first two days with the leading 60 players and ties playing a further 36 holes on the final day. In a stiff breeze local professional Willie Nolan led after the first day with a course record 72.[2] On the second day Nolan faded after an 81 and the lead was taken by Henry Cotton on 146 with Jack Smith a shot behind. The cut was 165 and exactly 60 players qualified, including 6 amateurs.[3] Conditions were very poor on the final day with the refreshment and press tents blown down and rain falling in torrents. Jack Smith had an excellent 77 in the morning and with Henry Cotton taking 86, Smith had an 8-shot lead over Cotton and Archie Compston. Smith, however, went to pieces and had a final round of 91 and was overtaken by Cotton, who took 81. George Duncan, starting the final round 14 shots behind, scored 74 and finished with a total of 312, beating Smith by 3 and Cotton by 1. Duncan's score of 74 was remarkable in that it was only two strokes over the new course record, on a day when his 74 and Smith's 77 in the morning were the only two rounds under 80 on the final day. Duncan took the Championship Gold Medal and the first prize of £150. Nolan was the leading Irishman, finishing fifth.[4]

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 from 2012 to 2014 it was played in late June.

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.

Recent sponsorship[edit]

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.[5]

Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority of the Republic of Ireland, agreed to sponsor in 2011, but with a reduced purse, cut in half to €1.5 million.[6] In 2015 the event was sponsored by Dubai Duty Free in conjunction with the Rory Foundation. On 12 October 2015, it was announced that Dubai Duty Free had extended their sponsorship to 2018 along with the Rory Foundation.[7]


Year Winner Country Venue County Province Score To par Margin
of victory
Runner(s)-up Winner's
share ()
Dubai Duty Free Irish Open
2015 Søren Kjeldsen  Denmark Royal County Down Down Ulster 282 −2 Playoff England Eddie Pepperell
Austria Bernd Wiesberger
The Irish Open
2014 Mikko Ilonen  Finland Fota Island Cork Munster 271 −13 1 stroke Italy Edoardo Molinari 333,330
2013 Paul Casey  England Carton House Kildare Leinster 274 −14 3 strokes Netherlands Joost Luiten
England Robert Rock
2012 Jamie Donaldson  Wales Royal Portrush Antrim Ulster 270 −18 4 strokes Spain Rafael Cabrera-Bello
England Anthony Wall
Paraguay Fabrizio Zanotti
Irish Open presented by Discover Ireland
2011 Simon Dyson  England Killarney Kerry Munster 269 −15 1 stroke Australia Richard Green 250,000
The 3 Irish Open
2010 Ross Fisher  England Killarney Kerry Munster 266 −18 2 strokes Republic of Ireland Pádraig Harrington 500,000
2009 Shane Lowry (a)  Ireland County Louth Louth Leinster 271 −17 Playoff England Robert Rock 500,000*
Irish Open
2008 Richard Finch  England Adare Limerick Munster 278 −10 2 strokes Chile Felipe Aguilar 416,600
2007 Pádraig Harrington  Ireland Adare Limerick Munster 283 −5 Playoff Wales Bradley Dredge 416,600
Nissan Irish Open
2006 Thomas Bjørn  Denmark Carton House Kildare Leinster 283 −5 1 stroke England Paul Casey 366,660
2005 Stephen Dodd  Wales Carton House Kildare Leinster 279 −9 Playoff England David Howell 333,330
2004 Brett Rumford  Australia County Louth Louth Leinster 274 −14 4 strokes Republic of Ireland Pádraig Harrington
France Raphaël Jacquelin
2003 Michael Campbell  New Zealand Portmarnock Fingal Leinster 277 −11 Playoff Denmark Thomas Bjørn
Sweden Peter Hedblom
Murphy's Irish Open
2002 Søren Hansen  Denmark Fota Island Cork Munster 270 −14 Playoff England Richard Bland
Sweden Niclas Fasth
South Africa Darren Fichardt
2001 Colin Montgomerie (3)  Scotland Fota Island Cork Munster 266 −18 5 strokes Northern Ireland Darren Clarke
Sweden Niclas Fasth
Republic of Ireland Pádraig Harrington
2000 Patrik Sjöland  Sweden Ballybunion Kerry Munster 270 −14 2 strokes Sweden Fredrik Jacobson 267,319
1999 Sergio García  Spain Druids Glen Wicklow Leinster 268 −16 3 strokes Argentina Ángel Cabrera 233,320
1998 David Carter  England Druids Glen Wicklow Leinster 278 −6 Playoff Scotland Colin Montgomerie 223,988
1997 Colin Montgomerie (2)  Scotland Druids Glen Wicklow Leinster 269 −15 7 strokes England Lee Westwood 159,090
1996 Colin Montgomerie  Scotland Druids Glen Wicklow Leinster 279 −5 1 stroke Scotland Andrew Oldcorn
Australia Wayne Riley
1995 Sam Torrance (2)  Scotland Mount Juliet Kilkenny Leinster 277 −11 Playoff England Stuart Cage
England Howard Clark
1994 Bernhard Langer (3)  Germany Mount Juliet Kilkenny Leinster 275 −13 1 stroke Australia Robert Allenby
United States John Daly
Carroll's Irish Open
1993 Nick Faldo (3)  England Mount Juliet Kilkenny Leinster 276 −12 Playoff Spain José María Olazábal 135,282
1992 Nick Faldo (2)  England Killarney Kerry Munster 274 −14 Playoff South Africa Wayne Westner 106,784
1991 Nick Faldo  England Killarney Kerry Munster 283 −5 3 strokes Scotland Colin Montgomerie 85,344
1990 José María Olazábal  Spain Portmarnock Dublin Leinster 282 −6 3 strokes United States Mark Calcavecchia
New Zealand Frank Nobilo
1989 Ian Woosnam (2)  Wales Portmarnock Dublin Leinster 278 −10 Playoff Republic of Ireland Philip Walton 61,296
1988 Ian Woosnam  England Portmarnock Dublin Leinster 278 −10 7 strokes England Nick Faldo
Spain José María Olazábal
Spain Manuel Piñero
Republic of Ireland Des Smyth
1987 Bernhard Langer (2)  Germany Portmarnock Dublin Leinster 269 −19 10 strokes Scotland Sandy Lyle 50,174
1986 Seve Ballesteros (3)  Spain Portmarnock Dublin Leinster 285 −3 2 strokes Australia Rodger Davis
Zimbabwe Mark McNulty
1985 Seve Ballesteros (2)  Spain Royal Dublin Leinster 278 −10 Playoff West Germany Bernhard Langer 28,000
1984 Bernhard Langer  West Germany Royal Dublin Leinster 267 −21 4 strokes England Mark James 25,662
1983 Seve Ballesteros  Spain Royal Dublin Leinster 271 −17 2 strokes Scotland Brian Barnes 25,662
1982 John O'Leary  Ireland Portmarnock Dublin Leinster 287 −1 1 stroke England Maurice Bembridge 18,742
1981 Sam Torrance  Scotland Portmarnock Dublin Leinster 276 −12 5 strokes England Nick Faldo 18,659
1980 Mark James (2)  England Portmarnock Dublin Leinster 284 −4 1 stroke Scotland Brian Barnes 16,730
1979 Mark James  England Portmarnock Dublin Leinster 282 −6 1 stroke United States Ed Sneed 14,000
1978 Ken Brown  Scotland Portmarnock Dublin Leinster 281 −7 1 stroke Spain Seve Ballesteros
Republic of Ireland John O'Leary
1977 Hubert Green  United States Portmarnock Dublin Leinster 283 −5 1 stroke United States Ben Crenshaw 11,200
1976 Ben Crenshaw  United States Portmarnock Dublin Leinster 284 −4 2 strokes Scotland Brian Barnes
United States Billy Casper
England Martin Foster
1975 Christy O'Connor Jnr  Ireland Woodbrook Wicklow Leinster 275 −21 1 stroke Scotland Harry Bannerman 7,000

(a) indicates an amateur golfer. In 2009 the winner's share was awarded to leading professional, Robert Rock.


Year Winner Country Venue County Province Score Margin
of victory
Runner(s)-up Winner's
share (£)
Irish Open
1954-74: No tournament
1953 Eric Brown  Scotland Belvoir Park Antrim Ulster 272 1 stroke England Harry Weetman £750
1951-52: No tournament
1950 Ossie Pickworth  Australia Royal Dublin Leinster 287 2 strokes Scotland John Panton
Australia Norman Von Nida
1949 Harry Bradshaw (2)  Ireland Belvoir Park Antrim Ulster 286 1 stroke South Africa Bobby Locke £400
1948 Dai Rees  Wales Portmarnock Dublin Leinster 295 2 strokes Australia Norman Von Nida £400
1947 Harry Bradshaw  Ireland Royal Portrush Antrim Ulster 290 2 strokes Belgium Flory Van Donck
1946 Fred Daly  Northern Ireland Portmarnock Dublin Leinster 288 4 strokes South Africa Bobby Locke
1940–45: No tournament due to World War II
1939 Arthur Lees  England Royal County Down Down Ulster 287 2 strokes England Reg Whitcombe
1938 Bobby Locke  South Africa Portmarnock Dublin Leinster 292 1 stroke England Henry Cotton
1937 Bert Gadd  England Royal Portrush Antrim Ulster 284 1 stroke Scotland Jimmy Adams
1936 Reg Whitcombe  England Royal Dublin Leinster 281 2 strokes England Bill Davies
1935 Ernest Whitcombe (2)  England Royal County Down Down Ulster 292 Playoff
(36 holes)
England Reg Whitcombe
1934 Syd Easterbrook  England Portmarnock Antrim Ulster 284 7 strokes Republic of Ireland Joe Brown (a)
1933 Bob Kenyon (2)  England Malone Antrim Ulster 286 2 strokes England Alf Padgham
1932 Alf Padgham  England Cork Cork Munster 283 1 stroke England Bill Davies
1931 Bob Kenyon  England Royal Dublin Leinster 291 2 strokes England Bill Davies
Wales Bert Hodson
England Abe Mitchell
England Mark Seymour
England Ernest Whitcombe
1930 Charles Whitcombe  England Royal Portrush Antrim Ulster 289 8 strokes England Abe Mitchell
1929 Abe Mitchell  England Portmarnock Dublin Leinster 309 Playoff
(36 holes)
England Archie Compston
England Len Holland
1928 Ernest Whitcombe  England Royal County Down Down Ulster 288 4 strokes England Archie Compston £150
1927 George Duncan  Scotland Portmarnock Dublin Leinster 312 1 stroke England Henry Cotton £150

(a) indicates an amateur golfer

Multiple winners[edit]

Name Wins Years
Scotland Colin Montgomerie 3 1996, 1997, 2001
Germany Bernhard Langer 3 1984, 1987, 1994
England Nick Faldo 3 1991, 1992, 1993
Spain Seve Ballesteros 3 1983, 1985, 1986
Scotland Sam Torrance 2 1981, 1995
Wales Ian Woosnam 2 1988, 1989
England Mark James 2 1979, 1980
Republic of Ireland Harry Bradshaw 2 1947, 1949
England Ernest Whitcombe 2 1928, 1935
England Bob Kenyon 2 1931, 1933

Future venues[edit]

Year Venue County Province
2016 K Club Kildare Leinster
2017 Lough Erne Fermanagh Ulster

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Irish Open". PGA European Tour. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "Golf - The Irish Open Championship". The Times. 17 August 1927. p. 5. 
  3. ^ "Golf - The Irish Open Championship". The Times. 18 August 1927. p. 5. 
  4. ^ "The Irish Open Championship - G Duncan the first holder". The Times. 19 August 1927. p. 6. 
  5. ^ "Irish Open prize money increased". BBC Sport. 4 March 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2009. 
  6. ^ "Purse is down but Rory will be there". Irish Times. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "Dubai Duty Free extends Irish Open sponsorship until 2018". PGA European Tour. 12 October 2015. 
  8. ^ "Irish Open: tournament history". European Tour. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "The Irish Open – Past Winners". Irish Golf Desk. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "Past Irish Open Winners". Retrieved 30 May 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°13′05″N 5°53′02″W / 54.218°N 5.884°W / 54.218; -5.884