Niall Horan and his management company Modest! Golf will continue to back the Northern Ireland Open for a third consecutive year.
The NI Open has evolved into an outstanding tournament since its inception as a European Challenge Tour event in 2013.
Modest! Golf and Horan return to Galgorm Castle for the third time and record crowds are expected once more when one of the Challenge Tour’s most popular events takes place at the Ballymena venue from August 16-19.
“We are delighted to announce Modest! Golf’s return to the Northern Ireland Open for the third year,” said Horan. "The event has grown every year and we look forward to linking up with Galgorm Castle and the Challenge Tour once again.
“This Challenge Tour event is so important to us as a business. Year on year, this tour develops the next generation of European Tour winners and Major Champions and we can’t wait for the NI Open to play its part, both this year and in future years.
“We have lots of plans for Galgorm Castle to develop this event even further over the coming years.”
More than 43,000 spectators came through the gates at Galgorm Castle in 2017 to witness the drama unfold before France’s Robin Sciot-Siegrist was crowned champion after prevailing in the innovative Shootout Sunday format.
This year, organisers have returned to the traditional 72-hole stroke play format, which ties in with the long-term vision for future stagings of the Northern Ireland event.
Commonly perceived as a fun for all the family, 2018 will be no different with plenty of activities and attractions taking place away from the fairways.
The GolfNow Junior NI Open proved a big hit last year and will showcase the junior talent for a second time when played over the six-hole course at the Galgorm Castle’s Fun Golf Area.
The 2018 NI Open holds another key summer date on the international schedule. It is also a hugely important event for the development of Ireland’s professionals starting out in their career and looking to make their mark in the game.
The NI Open is an integral part of the work carried out by the Confederation of Golf in Ireland and the Team Ireland Golf scheme that provides grants and funding to players in the early stages of their professional career.
Aubrey Irwin, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Northern Ireland, said: “The Northern Ireland Open is a wonderful event, giving us an opportunity to showcase our world-class golf courses to a huge number of golfing enthusiasts across the world.
“There is tremendous interest in this event, as part of the European Challenge Tour series, and Tourism Ireland estimates that highlights of the event will be broadcast to approximately 540 million homes, via Sky Sports and their 26 international broadcast partners, and through digital media.
“The 2018 Northern Ireland Open will once again shine a spotlight on golf here, helping us to highlight our superb parkland courses, which complement the world-class links for which Northern Ireland is known around the world.”