Rory McIlroy confirms his participation in Irish Open at Royal County Down

As expected, McIlroy confirms he will be present when the DP World Tour stops in Newcastle from September 12th-15th

Rory McIlroy has confirmed that he will play at the Irish Open in September. Photograph: Shuttershock

Rory McIlroy has confirmed that he will compete in the Amgen Irish Open when it takes place at Royal County Down, a links he knows like the back of his hand, when the DP World Tour event takes place at the Newcastle venue on September 12th-15th.

The world number two actually played host to the event when it was last played at the iconic seaside course back in 2015, where he managed to get a host of big names, among them Rickie Fowler, to compete. Unfortunately on that occasion McIlroy himself missed the cut.

A winner of the tournament in 2016, McIlroy’s commitment to this year’s event, the week before the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, will likely increase demand for the limited daily tickets which have already seen strong demand.

“Since making my first appearance at the Irish Open nearly 20 years ago, it has been such a special tournament to play in, but it will be doubly so for me this time round,” said McIlroy, who grew up in Holywood, Co Down, adding: ”I’m incredibly excited to have the opportunity play in this year’s Irish Open at a venue so close to home. Royal County Down is a fantastic venue and I still have some great memories from the 2007 Walker Cup.


”The crowds are always so supportive of all the Irish golfers taking part and the atmosphere is unlike any other we have at a golf tournament. Time and time again the fans prove that they are some of the best in the world and I can’t wait to see them out in support of us again.”

McIlroy joins Shane Lowry who has also made an early commitment to playing in the tournament, one of the most historic titles on the European circuit. Indeed, McIlroy has name-checked the Irish Open as one of those national opens which should be part of any global tour as men’s professional golf reconfigures itself in the face of the arrival of LIV Golf and the ongoing discussions with the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour in any reorganising of structures.

Tom McKibbin carded an opening round 69 at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship in Dubai. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Meanwhile, England’s Callum Shinkwin was on 59 watch for a time in the opening round of the Ras Al Khaimah Championship in the UAE where a string of eight straight birdies at one point had him on course to break the magical barrier, only for the birdies to dry up late on as he signed for a first round of 10-under-par 62, establishing a two stroke first round lead over compatriot Richard Mansell and South African Brendon Stone.

Tom McKibbin continued his solid start to the new season with an opening round 69 (tied-31st) while Pádraig Harrington started with a one-under-par round of 71.

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Philip Reid

Philip Reid

Philip Reid is Golf Correspondent of The Irish Times