Mount Juliet could welcome up to 5,000 spectators a day for July’s Irish Open

Tickets will go on sale online on Thursday afternoon in two stages

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open takes place at Mount Juliet on July 1st-4th with tickets going on sale on Thursday. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open takes place at Mount Juliet on July 1st-4th with tickets going on sale on Thursday. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

 

Not so much a golden ticket but certainly one of a green hue, with the PGA European Tour’s confirmation that actual spectators will get to be on-site for next month’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Mount Juliet in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny on July 1st-4th.

A quickfire online sale of tickets (the actual number is unconfirmed but could reach 5,000 daily, with a number held back for frontline workers) will go on sale on the Eventbrite platform on Thursday (June 10th) from 2pm for those with priority access (confined to people who had bought tickets to last year’s event at the Jack Nicklaus-designed course or those who had pre-registered an interest) and, then, from 5pm for general public sale.

Originally scheduled to be played at Mount Juliet last year, the tournament was switched to Galgorm Castle in Ballymena, Co Antrim, where American John Catlin emerged as the winner at a tournament played without any spectators.

The return of the Irish Open to the Mount Juliet resort – with a purse of €3 million – will also see a significant increase in the quality of the field, with the tournament serving as Shane Lowry’s last outing before he defends his Claret Jug at Royal St George’s a fortnight later.

Lowry will be joined in the field by fellow Major champions Rory McIlroy, Pádraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell who have all committed to a “homecoming” tournament after playing the majority of their schedules stateside on the PGA Tour this year.

“I cannot wait to get back and play in front of the Irish crowds again. I have been really eager to do so as The Open champion before I defend the Claret Jug and hopefully I can put on a show for them, [in] what is sure to be a memorable week,” said Lowry, who has shown terrific form of later with three top-10s in his last four tournament outings, including a tied-fourth finish in the recent US PGA Championship.

McIlroy, who served as tournament host from 2015 to 2018 (winning in 2016) in what proved to be a significant role in increasing the event’s profile, has committed to playing in what he said would be “a pretty special week, with the fans returning”.

Indeed, the return of fans – as part of the Government’s wider project to gradually increase attendances at venues – is something that has been widely praised by the players.

Pádraig Harrington, Europe’s Ryder Cup captain, will be playing in the tournament for the 26th successive time and remarked of a tournament he describes as “unique” as being “an even bigger celebration with fans making a long-awaited return. I can’t wait to step onto the first tee at Mount Juliet and sample the atmosphere created by the home crowds.”

Graeme McDowell, who was due to play the role of tournament host last year, remarked: “I was disappointed not to be able to fulfil my role as host in 2020 due to the disruption of the pandemic, but this year I feel it should be a celebration of Irish golf as a whole, while also recognising the frontline heroes who have contributed so hugely during the pandemic – not about one person alone. With the strength of field, the return of the fans and a spectacular venue in Mount Juliet, it’s set to be as truly special week.”

Tickets for each of the four Dubai Duty Free Irish Open competition days will be priced at €10 for juniors (13-17 years), €35 for concessions and €40 for adults. Tickets for the Celebrity Pro-Am on Wednesday, June 30th cost €20.

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