Posts Tagged ‘Dubai Duty Free Irish Open’

Moyvalley Resort to stage 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open qualifier

March 18, 2019

The 10th at Moyvalley

Moyvalley Hotel and Golf Resort will host this year’s €40,000 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open qualifier (June 29-30).
The 36-hole tournament, administered by the PGA in Ireland, will be staged at the Co.Kildare venue with four starting places in the $7,000,000 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Lahinch Golf Club (July 4-July 7) up for grabs.
PGA in Ireland Regional Manager, Michael McCumiskey said; “As we plan for the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open qualifier it is great news that we have been able to secure Moyvalley for this year’s event.
“In 2016 and 2017 the venue hosted the Irish PGA Championship and it proved to be a real test of golf for our professionals.

“This year, with four spots available at Lahinch and prize money of €40,000 to be played for, there will be huge interest from professionals and amateurs alike all dreaming of a place in the Irish Open.”

The course at Moyvalley is described as an inland links as it takes on some of the features of a traditional seaside links course, with tall fescue grass, large putting surfaces featuring heavy contouring, runoffs and firm surfaces. It certainly produced two high-class Irish PGA champions in Damien McGrane (2016) and Tim Rice (2017).
“We are delighted to be chosen to host the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Qualifiers here at Moyvalley Hotel and Golf Resort and we very much look forward to welcoming all the competitors in what promises to be a great weekend of golf,” said David Rock, Director of Golf Moyvalley Hotel and Golf Resort
All PGA in Ireland members and registered assistants will be eligible to compete in the event. Six places in the field are open to amateur players nominated by the Golfing Union of Ireland. A further 12 spots will be filled by professional golfers selected by the European Tour.
Tulfarris Golf Resort’s Simon Thornton birdied the first extra hole to win last year’s inaugural Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Qualifier at Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort.
Neil O’Briain (Old Conna), Colm Moriarty (Glasson) and Cian McNamara (Monkstown GC) also claimed places in the field at Ballyliffin.
Competitors will be able to make use of an official practice day on Friday June 28.
In the case of a tie for the leading four players, a sudden death play-off will be used.

At Rosapenna (l-r) 2018 captain, Liam Breen; Michael McCumiskey(PGA in Ireland Regional Manager), Cian McNamara, Colm Moriarty, Simon Thornton, Neil O’Briain and John Casey (Director, Rosapenna Hotel and Golf Resort)



Lowry and Fleetwood confirmed for DDF Irish Open Open at Lahinch

February 5, 2019

Shane Lowry will be joined on home soil this July by Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood, when the duo compete in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
Tournament host Paul McGinley is bringing the prestigious event to the iconic Lahinch Golf Club in County Clare for the first time from July 4-7.
For Lowry, it will be a much-anticipated homecoming after the popular Offaly player claimed his first European Tour title in three and a half years in the opening Rolex Series event of the 2019 campaign, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.
It’s 10 years since Shane claimed a remarkable breakthrough victory in his home event – when, as a 22-year-old amateur, he overcame Robert Rock in a play-off to become just the third amateur winner in European Tour history.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Lowry.
“Going to Lahinch – it’s in a beautiful part of Ireland, on a great golf course, and if the weather is good, honestly, you won’t get a nicer place in the world.
“I think Paul will do a great job, and I think as always Dubai Duty Free do a fantastic job. The fact that it’s part of the Rolex Series is amazing and I’m lucky enough and happy to be going there as a Rolex Series champion. I’d love to win another home title and hopefully, it will be this year.

“I don’t really remember much from 2009, but it obviously kick-started my career. It doesn’t feel like ten years, it feels like it’s gone a lot quicker than that. I’ve played in every Irish Open since, and every time I go back, it’s just special. I always say that Irish Open in Baltray was probably my greatest achievement to date and probably will always be, unless I can top it with a Major.”

Joining Lowry at Lahinch – which is consistently ranked inside the top 100 of the world’s greatest golf courses – is one of the game’s most popular stars, Englishman Fleetwood.
Fleetwood’s most recent victory also came in Abu Dhabi, in 2018, and the 28-year-old has since remained in the top 20 of the Official World Golf Ranking, come close to earning a maiden Major title at last year’s U.S. Open and played a starring role in Europe’s Ryder Cup victory at Le Golf National last September.
“I’m very excited about it because I missed it last year and I was really disappointed because golf in Ireland is one of those places I’ve always enjoyed playing, and to get that chance again this year, it’s going to be fun,” said Fleetwood.
“I’m very happy that I can support Paul. He’s always been great with me from my first few years on Tour, and always took the time to give me advice.
“Links golf, especially around that time of the year, we have such a great run of events, and it’s very important to just get that feel. We very rarely play that kind of golf throughout the year, so any chance you get to have a feel for it, and play in some slightly different shots, get a feel for how the ball reacts in the wind and the turf, I’m looking forward to it. It’s perfect preparation for The Open.”

Tickets for the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open are on sale at and begin at €23 for Pro-Am Wednesday, with single tickets for Thursday or Friday costing €30 and day tickets for each weekend day costing €35 each. An adult season ticket, which covers five days of world class golf from Wednesday to Sunday, begins at a special price of just €110.
Children under 12 years of age are entitled to free entry when accompanied by an adult, day junior tickets for those between 12 and 17 years of age are €10 (€30 for a season ticket) while those aged between 18 and 21, as well as students with valid student cards and over 60s, can avail of a concession ticket – €20 for a day (€80 for a season).
Official Hospitality tickets are also available on the ticketing page, or alternatively contact the European Tour’s dedicated Hospitality Sales Team, who will be happy to answer any queries and discuss the various hospitality options, on or +44 (0) 1344 840681.

Russell Knox dreaming of Ryder Cup spot after brilliant Irish Open win at Ballyliffin

July 9, 2018

Russell Knox of Scotland celebrates with the trophy following his victory on the 18th green during a playoff at the end of the final round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Ballyliffin Golf Club on July 8, 2018 in Donegal, Ireland. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Russell Knox is dreaming of a debut Ryder Cup appearance after edging out Ryan Fox in a playoff to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Ballyliffin.
Scottish born Knox drained two huge 40-foot putts on the 18th green, the second on the opening play-off hole to hold off Fox and secure his first European Tour win since the WGC-HSBC Champions in 2015.
Back in 2016, the 33-year-old, who is based in Florida, missed out on a wildcard pick with then captain, Darren Clarke, opting for Lee Westwood, Thomas Pieters and Martin Kaymer.
This time around he’s determined to take the decision out of the hands of current captain, Thomas Bjorn, and qualify for the team as of right.
“It was obviously disappointing not to make the team being so close, but that’s gone now. That’s in the past,” said Knox.
“I mean, my job is to focus on trying to qualify for the team this year. Like I say, of course, it’s disappointing, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbled for me.
“I’ve got to head down, and just play my best, and if I’m one of those top-12 guys come the end of qualification, then I would love to be there.”

Knox finished joint second at the recent French Open and took another huge step towards playing on the team in France with this win on the Inishowen Peninsula in front of 27,000 fans.
“I mean, I wasn’t in a great spot, I guess, before last week when it came to World Ranking, Ryder Cup points, FedExCup, Race to Dubai, all of that stuff,” he said.
“To play well last week in France was big. I mean, on a tough golf course, obviously, Ryder Cup venue, helped, too. To play well there, my confidence was snowballing. I had been playing well for a couple months now but just was lacking that big finish.
“Last week it was nice to play really good on Sunday and be up there. I never really thought I was going to win it, which obviously I didn’t, but this week, starting out, Sunday here, I knew I had a chance. I was playing well the first few holes. I made great swings and I was like, I’ve got a chance today.

“But going forward, Ryder Cup-wise, still a long way away. To make that team, obviously, you have to win tournaments. Great start, obviously, this week. Last week, as well. But I mean, I fully expect — this is not good enough. I need to hammer down and I’m going to have to make that team in order to go to France.”

The next stop in his Ryder quest is a homecoming at the Scottish Open this week followed by The Open Championship at Carnoustie.
“I haven’t played there too much, to be honest. Years ago, I think I played a Scottish Amateur, Scottish Boys or something like that. So I probably only played it maybe two or three times. Honestly, I’ve watched it on TV many times, so I know it’s a beast,” he said.
“Obviously, it’s great to play an Open that’s being held in Scotland. Obviously, that’s a huge goal for Scottish players to play in their own country. But it’s obviously one of the best courses in the world, and to hold an Open, and me to be playing, I’m very happy. Might as well go try and win there.”

Ryan Fox

Kiwi Fox will also be playing in Carnoustie after collecting one of the three places on offer to the non-exempt players who finished in the top ten at Ballyliffin, the other two going to Andy Sullivan and Zander Lombard.
It was some modicum of consolation for the 31-year-old.
“I hit two great putts on 18 and one grazed the edge and one came back at me. Look, I’m happy. I hit the shots I wanted to down the stretch. Felt comfortable out there, and you know, it was close,” said Ryan.

“It’s a bloody nice consolation to get into The Open Championship. I’m excited and slightly nervous because Carnoustie is a bit of a beast. But I played the U.S. Open [at Shinnecock Hills] and hopefully, nothing can be as hard as that.

“I’ve played well around Carnoustie when I’ve played there before. Hopefully, I will have a few days to figure it out and see if I can play well at The Open.”
The Open Championship will also mark the next start for Rory McIlroy who brought the curtain down on four years as tournament host with a final round 71 (-1) that offered some hope of a positive future after a frustrating week on the greens.
“It was just an alignment issue and felt better today and felt like I could see the lines and I was starting the ball on a better line. I held some putts, which was good to see. If I putt for four days at Carnoustie like I did today, I’d be happy. “

Padraig chasing down Fox at Ballyliffin

July 6, 2018

Ryan Fox of New Zealand

Padraig Harrington has rarely lacked for motivation but being told his pre-tournament odds had gone out to 60-1 might just have provided the extra spur he needs to contend this week at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
“It’s not often there’s value in my game. The bookies in Ireland would make sure they cut you to a low price knowing that sentimentally people would back you,” said Harrington following a four under par 68 that left him just one shot back of the lead held by Ryan Fox.
“I was surprised, the bookies don’t normally get it wrong, but to put me out there at 66-1 on a links golf course was strange on their part, at home in my home country.
“My performances always go up when it comes to a links course. Maybe that says I’m even worse than I thought.”
The three-time major champion kick-started his round with a chip-in eagle at the par-five 17th, his eighth hole of the day and followed up with three more birdies on the front nine to make a significant statement of intent.
“I played really badly and maybe things were starting to get away from me and just to chip-in and get myself under par, I felt like I should have been under par at that stage. It’s always nice, you know, on a links golf course to be under par, have one in the bank, so you always feel like you can go forward from there. I love playing links golf and it’s nice to get out there and shoot a score.”
Harrington finished the opening round of a testing day at Ballyliffin in a group of six players just one shot behind the leader Kiwi Ryan Fox.
Fox appears remarkably at home in Ireland. The 31-year-old, son of All Black legend Grant, won a Challenge Tour event, the NI Open at Galgorm Castle in 2016 and contended in last year’s Irish Open at Portstewart.
“I drove it nice. I think I probably only hit five or six fairways, but missed them in the right places and hit a lot of good drives that just ran through fairways and gave myself a lot of chances,” said Fox.
Tournament host Rory McIlroy holed very little on his way to a two-under-par round of 70.
“It’s the best I have hit the ball in a long time,” said Rory.
“I put the ball in play, which I needed to do, and drove the ball very well. Iron play was good. I just struggled on the greens.

“It was either I hit good putts and just didn’t read them right, or sometimes it was maybe a reaction of putts I had hit previously on a couple holes earlier.

“It sort of just got into my head a little bit. I holed some decent putts. I hold a couple of good ones for par but I’m going to need to putt a little bit better over the next three days to have a chance.”
Graeme McDowell struggled with his ball striking early on in his round but he managed to hang in to post a competitive score of one under par.
“It was one of those days that could have got away, and I was happy to sort of keep it under control and post something half-decent,” he said.
However, his playing partner and defending champion, Jon Rahm, struggled to a two over par round of 74 that left him tied for 92nd.
The 25-year-old produced some stunning golf on his way to winning the title at Portstewart last year but found the going tougher around Ballyliffin.
The Spanish star, who is now ranked fifth in the world, appeared ill at ease for most of his round yesterday with back-to-back double bogeys not helping his mood as he struggled to a two-over par 74.
“He’s a hugely talented player, wonderful ball-striking ability but he just seemed a little irritated with himself this morning for whatever reason,” said playing partner Graeme McDowell.
“We all get that way sometimes, but he’s such a talented player, I expect him to be back firing on all cylinders tomorrow.
“He maybe had that ‘defending champion’ irritation going on, a little extra pressure, a little extra expectation on yourself.”

Thornton, O’Briain, Moriarty and McNamara come through DDF Irish Open qualifier at Rosapenna

July 2, 2018


At Rosapenna – (l-r) 2018 captain, Liam Breen; Michael McCumiskey, PGA in Ireland Regional Manager, Cian McNamara, Colm Moriarty, Simon Thornton, Neil O’Briain and John Casey, Director, Rosapenna Hotel and Golf Resort


Simon Thornton (Tulfarris Golf Resort) edged out Neil O’Briain (Old Conna GC) on the first play-off hole to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open qualifier at Rosapenna Hotel and Golf Resort.
In doing so the 41-year-old claimed the €6000 first prize and earned a place in this week’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Ballyliffin where he will be joined by O’Briain, third-placed Colm Moriarty (Glasson Hotel) and Cian McNamara (Monkstown GC).
The scorching weather that had marked out the practice day and the opening round on Saturday was replaced on Sunday by cloudy skies and a stronger breeze that tested the players.
“It was a battle but I’m used to that from practicing at Newcastle,” said Thornton.
“Overall, I played two good rounds. I played lovely, only one sloppy shot which cost me a bogey on the last but I committed to everything. I’m delighted obviously.”
Thornton and O’Briain finished the 36-hole event locked together on five under par, while Moriarty ended the tournament on four under.
“I have only played Ballyliffin twice in the PGA Pro-Am. My memory is that it is a really, really good course,” said Moriarty.

“I’m looking forward to a great event. If the wind blows, it will be a great challenge.”

The fourth place at Ballyliffin went to Cian McNamara who hung on to beat Europro Tour regular, Kevin Phelan on the second play-off hole after both finished the event on two under par.
“I haven’t been in that situation for a long time so today I just said that I need to stick to my game plan and not look at what is going on around me,” said McNamara.
“I stuck to my plan and I holed a crucial putt on the 17th in normal play. In the play-off I hit the same clubs off the tees. I was unfortunate to three-putt the opening play-off hole and then I got lucky on the second play-off hole when Kevin just tugged his second shot into a bad lie.
“It is a huge boost, it’s not something I thought I would ever get playing in again because I really haven’t had a lot of time to put into my game but now I have qualified for another Irish Open with the wife caddying, it’s been a great couple of days.”

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open qualifier final leaderboard

McCarroll and McGeady put faith in local knowledge at DDF Irish Open qualifier

June 30, 2018

Brendan McCarroll

Brendan McCarroll is hoping that local knowledge could prove decisive in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open qualifier at Rosapenna Golf Resort this weekend.
The 32-year-old has lived in Letterkenny for the last 18 years and has spent many hours battling the elements on the testing Sandy Hill Links course, venue for Saturday and Sunday’s 36-hole event.
“I grew up playing golf at Ballyliffin but with Rosapenna being 40 minutes down the road I’ve got a lot of time tucked away on these greens,” said Brendan (West Cliffs Golf Club).
“This is the type of course that you really don’t need to attack off the tee.
“You have to play it smart. A lot of people who haven’t played the course before tend to have a crack at it and then they find themselves in knee-high rough which is never good.”
The Derry-born golfer has been performing strongly on the EuroPro Tour in recent weeks. He lost out to Mark Young in a play-off at the Jessie May World Snooker Golf Championship at Clevedon Golf Club, Somerset but confidence is high heading into the weekend.
He continued; “Last year I switched coach mid-season and I’m now working with Barrie McGoldrick at Galgorm Castle.

“I have done some good work with him and maybe, my course management has improved.

“We worked it out the other day that over my last 13 rounds, I’m 47 under par.
“Knowing that, when I do go out on the course I feel that I can shoot under par all the time.”
Players coming off the course after Friday’s practice round were remarking about how hard and fast the links was playing as a result of the hot, dry spell.
“It is going to be a test of patience,” said in-form Michael McGeady (Evolve Golf Coaching).
McGeady, who is currently leading the PGA in Ireland Order of Merit, has also been a regular visitor to Rosapenna over the years but admitted that he had never played it under these conditions.
“I’ve never seen it so dry but hopefully local knowledge will be useful, especially around the greens using the slopes and undulations to get the ball close,” he said.
“I have a game plan but it is a bit of a lottery out there. You could play quite well and get a few bad bounces and shoot three or four over.
“You will see a lot of people hitting irons off tees and using the putter to keep it on the ground around the greens. It’s running so hard and fast that keeping it on the greens downwind is very tough.
“Before this dry spell I thought six or seven under could get you in the mix but, it will be much less than that now, maybe two under?”
The field of 122 players is competing for a first prize of €6000 and one of four spots in next week’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Ballyliffin.


Lahinch gets the nod to host Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in 2019

May 17, 2018

Paul McGinley pictured with the ‘Lahinch Goat’ on a recent visit to Lahinch Golf Club
Credit – Lahinch Golf Club

The 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open will be played at Lahinch Golf Club from July 4-7, 2019, the European Tour announced today, following consultation with next year’s tournament host Paul McGinley, tournament sponsor Dubai Duty Free, and local stakeholders.
It will be a landmark moment for Ireland’s national Open when it lands on the shores of County Clare for the first time in its 91-year history, building on the vision of the European Tour and title sponsors Dubai Duty Free to take the event to Ireland’s greatest links courses.
As a Rolex Series event, the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open will once again feature a minimum prize fund of $7 million and will attract a world-class field to Lahinch Golf Club, providing a huge boost to the local and national economy.
The tournament enters a new era next year when McGinley leads a rotation of Irish golfing legends – Major champions Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell – in the hosting role, taking over the mantle from Rory McIlroy. The four-time Major champion’s charity, the Rory Foundation, has successfully hosted the tournament since 2015.
The winning 2014 Ryder Cup Captain will host at a venue for which he holds a great affinity, having triumphed at Lahinch as an amateur when he claimed the South of Ireland Championship in 1991.
The Dubliner will be aided in his preparations for the 2019 event by his close friend and one of his Vice-Captains during The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, Des Smyth, who was recently announced as Tournament Ambassador, a role which will see him help in the marketing and promotion of the event for the next four years as well as aid a successful transition between each of the hosts.
Paul McGinley said: “Lahinch is one of Ireland’s truly iconic links golf courses and I am delighted to be taking the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open there. Embedded in the history of Irish amateur golf, as well as in the hearts of our many international visitors, it now deservedly gets the opportunity to showcase itself on the world stage.

“We are very proud of our great links courses in Ireland and Lahinch has evolved to rank as one of the very best. It will challenge some of the game’s best players to produce skill, creativity and a mindset rarely tested in professional tournaments.

“The club and the community have left no stone unturned in embracing the idea of hosting the tournament and I look forward to working with them over the next 14 months to put in place a tournament that will honour a great venue, town and people in what is a stunning part of the Irish southwestern coastline.”
The 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open will also represent the first year of a partnership between the European Tour Foundation and the respective hosts to provide a programme of charitable support across the country.
Ambitious fundraising targets will be set to support various projects throughout the island of Ireland including the host’s own Foundations, environmental issues, local and national charities, education and the development of both grassroots and elite junior golf programmes.

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “I am delighted to announce today that the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open will be played at Lahinch Golf Club, continuing our desire to take the tournament to Ireland’s great links.
“We extend our grateful thanks to everyone at the golf club, the local authorities in County Clare and everyone in the south west of Ireland for coming together to make this happen. The tournament is one of the great and historic events on the European Tour, raised to a new level in recent times by the commitment of our title sponsor Dubai Duty Free and its Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Colm McLoughlin, alongside the support of our own Rory McIlroy in recent years.
“Now the hosting baton has been handed over to Paul McGinley and it would be remiss of me not to mention the hard and meticulous work that he has personally put in throughout this selection process. We look forward to working with him, and everyone involved with the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, in 2019.”
Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO, Dubai Duty Free, said: “We are happy with the choice of Lahinch Golf Club as the venue for the 2019 edition of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
“Lahinch is a very well-known and popular links course with a 125-year history and has seen many of the greats play there including Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson and Greg Norman as well as all the Irish golfers including Paul McGinley who will act as the tournament host next year.
“In the meantime, we are looking forward to another great tournament this year at Ballyliffin and think that the players are going to enjoy this equally spectacular golf course in Donegal.”

Situated on the west coast of Ireland, Lahinch Golf Club celebrated its 125th year anniversary last year and the famous Old Course on which the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open will be played, regularly features in lists of the top golf courses in the world.
It is home to the South of Ireland Championship, an amateur golf tournament which began in 1895, and whose notable champions, aside from McGinley, include two other future hosts of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open; Darren Clarke who won in 1989, and Graeme McDowell who triumphed in 2000.
Designed originally in 1894 by Old Tom Morris, the Old Course at Lahinch Golf Club was built on a stretch of huge sand dunes overlooking the Atlantic Ocean which provide a dramatic and picturesque landscape as well as a challenging but enjoyable test of golf.
In 1907, Charles ‘Mo’ Gibson of Royal North Devon Golf Club led a redevelopment before one of the finest architects of the 20thcentury, Alister MacKenzie – who designed Augusta National among many other – provided a new lay-out in 1926.
Some 74 years later in 2000, renowned British course architect Dr Martin Hawtree modernised the Old Course, while incorporating many of the touches which made MacKenzie’s design so special, to provide the layout which the stars of the European Tour will enjoy in 14 months’ time.

Ballyliffin ready to make the most of Dubai Duty Free Irish Open opportunity

May 13, 2018

TEEING OFF: John Farren, General Manager of Ballyliffin Golf Club, Barry Funston, Chief Executive of the Rory Foundation, Simon Alliss, the European Tour’s Championship Director of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, Sinead El Sibai, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Dubai Duty Free, Des Smyth, Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Tournament Ambassador and Martin Donnelly, Business Development Manager of Failte Ireland.
Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Ballyliffin GC will roll out the red carpet for the great and good of the European Tour when the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation touches down in Co Donegal from July 5-8.
The European Tour is breaking new ground by taking the tournament to the North West of Ireland for the very first time.
“It is a big big deal for this part of the world,” said Ballyliffin GM, John Farren.
“We are very grateful that the Tour had the confidence to bring this event to the region.
“We are looking forward to it. We will seize this opportunity and we will be ready.”
Tournament Director, Simon Allis, described advance ticket sales as ‘encouraging’ insisting that no-one would be, ‘disappointed’ by the final figures attending the event.
Farren was bullish about the prospects of big crowds coming through the turnstiles, pointing to the likely support of thousands of fans from across the border.
He added; “Ballyliffin is held in very high esteem across Ireland. Our proximity to Northern Ireland means that it is very accessible and the Northern Ireland golfing fans, well, they travel to Irish Opens no matter where they are.

“This will be a new option, a new destination for people and the Irish Open is so much more than a golf event now. The European Tour and the sponsors have developed a festival atmosphere around the tournament.”

Rory will again headline the event with world number three Jon Rahm returning to defend the title he won in record-breaking fashion at Portstewart last year.
The event will enter a new era in 2019 with a rotation of tournament hosts featuring the biggest names in Irish golf. Four of Ireland’s most revered golfers – The 2014 Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley as well as Major winners Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell – will share the hosting duties with McIlroy, beginning with McGinley next year.

“Four years ago Rory decided he wanted to improve the lot of the Irish Open,” said Rory Foundation CEO, Barry Funston.
“We were very fortunate to have a terrific partner in Dubai Duty Free who bought into that vision straight away and over the years, the evolution of the tournament has been well documented.
“From the perspective of the Foundation, it has been terrific. We have raised in excess of three million dollars for charitable causes in areas around the host venues.
“There is a deliberate strategy of moving the event around Ireland and we think that is the right thing to do. Getting it to Ballyliffin is something Rory has spoken about for years and we are delighted that our four-year term is coming to an end at Ballyliffin, a course Rory holds in great affection.”
A venue for the 2019 staging has yet to be confirmed but Dubai Duty Free has agreed a four-year extension of its title sponsorship of the Irish Open taking the partnership through to 2022.

North & West Coast Links take Irish golf crusade on the road to PGA Show

January 21, 2018

John McLaughlin (right), CEO of North and West Coast Links Golf Ireland, and John Farren (left), Manager of Ballyliffin Golf Club are pictured at last year’s PGA Show with 2010 US Open Champion Graeme McDowell

The eyes of the golfing world will be focussed on some of Ireland’s finest links courses this week when golf marketing company North & West Coast Links Golf Ireland attends The PGA Show in Orlando, Florida (Jan 23 – 26).
The PGA Show is the biggest industry golf show in the world attracting more than 40,000 visitors with over 1,000 media from 25 countries and this year’s event will see North & West Coast Links fly the flag for a number of Irish golf courses and hotels, including the spectacular Ballyliffin Golf Club, host venue for this year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
To tee the week off in style, the company has organised an Irish Golf Day prior to the show on behalf of the Irish Golf Trade and in association with main sponsor Tourism Ireland, with over 100 golf tour operators, golf media, group leaders and Irish golf trade representatives signed up to take part at The Golden Bear Club at Keene’s Point, Orlando.
In addition to meeting with a range of delegates to attract more visitors to Ireland, North & West Coast Links will also be using the show to launch its new brochure and website
As a key part of the Tourism Ireland stand, this is the 29th year in succession that North & West Coast Links has attended the show, promoting a range of bespoke golf tour packages to member courses including Royal Portrush, host venue for The Open in 2019, Ballyliffin, Carne, Enniscrone, Donegal, Narin & Portnoo, Rosapenna, Castlerock, Portstewart, Ardglass, Galway Bay, Westport and Portsalon.
In addition to the golf courses, the company also develops tour packages with a range of partner hotels including The Ardilaun, Mount Falcon Estate, Harvey’s Point, Ballyliffin Townhouse, The Bushmills Inn, the Hastings Hotels group and many more.
North and West Coast Links CEO John McLaughlin said:  “The PGA Show is quite simply one of the most important industry events in the global golf calendar.
“Ireland enjoys a special place on the global golf stage with some of the best courses in the world supported by a unique approach to hospitality which makes it very marketable to international visitors.  The PGA Show provides us with an extremely valuable platform to meet industry representatives from over 100 countries.”

“The increasing world profile of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in recent years at some of the links courses we represent, including this year’s event at Ballyliffin, provides us with a very attractive proposition from which to develop bespoke golf tour packages with some of Ireland’s outstanding links venues.

“Interest to date has been significant from the US and various European markets and with The Open being staged in Northern Ireland at Royal Portrush in 2019, links golf in this part of the world is really on the up,” concluded John.
The PGA Show runs from Tuesday January 23 to Friday January 26 at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, and showcases the latest trends in golf with more than 1,000 interactive exhibits that cover a range of sectors including equipment, clothing, training, technology and gifts, as well as golf travel and tourism.
Over the course of 2018, North & West Coast Links will target the UK, US, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand and selected Asian Markets, taking part in over 30 International shows and events in its efforts to grow the valuable international golf visitor numbers to Ireland.

North & West Coast Links Golf Ireland is a Golf Marketing and Destination Management Company (DMC) that carries out a range of marketing activities for its member clubs on a cooperative marketing basis.  The company has 29 years’ experience of promoting Irish links golf to golf tour operators and golf enthusiasts around the world.

Copy courtesy of Duffy/Rafferty Communications

Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama adds Dubai Duty Free Irish Open to schedule

June 11, 2017

JAPANESE superstar Hideki Matsuyama will make his first appearance at a regular European Tour event when the world number four tees it up at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation from July 6-9.
The 25-year-old has become one of the hottest properties in the game following three victories on the US PGA Tour, including the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
It’s a big boost to the tournament to have another bright young talent committed to playing at Portstewart alongside two other world top 10 players in Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm.
Matsuyama is considered one of Japan’s best bets to finally make that Major Championship breakthrough.In his last seven appearances in golf’s big four, he has claimed three top tens and two more top 20 finishes, while he also finished in the top ten at both The Open Championship and US Open Championship back in his first year as a professional back in 2013.
His form has tailed off somewhat in recent months and he admitted going into the recent Memorial Tournament – where he finished tied for 45th – that, “my swing isn’t where I’d like it to be and I’m not putting very well” but he will still go into this week’s US Open as one of the favourites.
He said: “I am really looking forward to playing the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open for the first time. I have heard great things about the tournament and about the Northern Irish fans.

“It is important to play some links golf ahead of The Open Championship and I’m sure Portstewart will be the perfect preparation for me.

“I know Rory puts a lot into this tournament and he has done an incredible job raising its profile. I’m really excited and I know it will be a great week.”
Matsuyama’s compatriot Hideto Tanihara has also confirmed his participation at Portstewart, with the World Number 47 making his debut at the event having finished in a share of third at the very first Rolex Series event – the BMW PGA Championship – two weeks ago.

Tickets to see Matsuyama, Tanihara and the numerous other superstars at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation are on sale at, and begin at £20 for Pro-Am Wednesday, with tickets for Thursday and Friday costing £40 and day tickets for the weekend costing £45.
An adult season souvenir ticket, which covers five days of world class golf from Wednesday to Sunday, costs just £100 (a saving of £90 over the course of the five days).
Concessions are available for customers aged over 60 and between 16 and 21, while children under 16 are permitted free entry when accompanied by a
ticket holding adult.
To get a full seated view of all of the drama
at the 18th green, grandstand tickets cost an additional £11.50 for Thursday and Friday, £16.50 for Saturday and £21.50 for Sunday.