McIlroy targets Irish Open glory
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy outlined an ambition that is very close to his heart in expressing a desire to add the Irish Open to his list of accomplishments.
The 23-year-old world number one who on Tuesday earned the accolade of European Tour Golfer of the Year to set alongside the Association of Golf Writers Trophy, Golf Writers Association of America winner and US PGA Tour Player of the Year awards, confirmed his decision to compete in the Irish Open at Carton House from June 27th-30th and declared: “It’s very special because it’s my home event.
“The history of the Irish Open is very special too, with such a great list of champions from Nick Faldo to Seve (Ballesteros), Bernhard Langer, Sergio Garcia and Pádraig Harrington. So many European greats have won that tournament and I think that’s what makes it so special.”
McIlroy, who won the Order of Merit on the European and US Tours, as well as winning his second Major, the USPGA Championship at Kiawah Island this year, fondly recalls the amazing support he received at the Irish Open over the Royal Portrush links in the summer.
He explained: “The fans are incredible. Obviously the support I get back home is unbelievable but the support the Irish fans give in general is great .” McIlroy will be competing in his seventh Irish Open and his second over the Montgomerie course at Carton House. He competed at Carton House in 2005 when as a 16-year-old amateur he missed the cut. “I like Carton House and I’ve a little bit of history there. It was the first Irish Open I played, over the Monty course, and I have great memories of going down there as part of Irish amateur squads. It’s a place I enjoy going back to.”
Since then, the 2011 US Open Champion and 2012 USPGA winner has contested a further six Irish Opens, with his best finishes coming at Adare Manor in 2008 where he finished seventh and this year’s event in Portrush where he was 10th behind Welshman Jamie Donaldson.
The challenge of following in the footsteps of Harrington (2007) and Carton House’s touring professional, Shane Lowry (2009), is a prime target for McIlroy in 2013 and beyond.
He added: “Winning the Irish Open would be very special. I know Pádraig Harrington has talked a lot about how he felt when he won and how proud he was of that achievement. I’d love to win it, although it’s tough to play in front of your home crowds at times. It brings its own pressures.”
Fans can buy tickets for the Irish Open at discounted prices before the new year. A season ticket for all four days costs €60 before December 31st, a saving of €10 on next year’s pre-tournament prices and €20 on admission at the gate. Adult day tickets are priced at €25 before December 31st, rising to €30 pre-event and €35 on the gate. Concessions (60 and over) start at €40 for a season ticket and €15 for any one-day tickets if purchased this year. Under-16s accompanied by an adult are admitted free of charge and all car parking is also free.
Reserved grandstand seating can also be purchased immediately for Thursday, Friday and Saturday (€10) and the Sunday (€15) of the event. No concessions of other discounts apply.
Full ticket information can be found at: www.europeantour.com/ticketsor telephone Ticket Hotline: +440800 023 2557. Irish callers can phone: 1890 252 698. Postal inquiries should be sent to: European Tour Tickets, Mirren Court Three, 123 Renfrew Court Three, Paisley, PA3 4EA, Scotland.