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Wednesday, 27 July 2011
Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland hold the US Open and Claret Jug  (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland hold the US Open and Claret Jug (Getty Images)

The two most recent Major Champions will be looking to throw in a victory on home soil for good measure at this week’s Irish Open presented by Discover Ireland.

Open winner Darren Clarke is joined in the field by US Open Champion Rory McIlroy, with both amongst the favourites to lift the trophy on Sunday night at Killarney Golf & Fishing Club.

Their presence, along with fellow Major-winning compatriots Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell, is sure to give the locals plenty to cheer.

“I don't think I've ever been this excited about an Irish Open,” said McIlroy.

“I think with Darren doing what he did a couple of weeks ago, and myself winning in the US, I think there's a tremendous atmosphere and a great buzz about the tournament. I’m looking forward to getting out there tomorrow and expecting big crowds. 

“I'm really looking forward to it. I feel like I haven't played that much golf since playing The Open, and so it will be nice to get back into some competitive action and get ready for the next three weeks.”

Clarke has been busy celebrating his success at Sandwich, and the 42 year old is glad to be making his comeback on home soil.

“It's just about started to sink in a little bit now,” he said. “It's great to be first tournament to come back and play in, the Irish Open, wonderful.

“I think what The Tour have done - to put on the Irish Open with no sponsor, to have this premiere tournament on The European Tour - to keep it going is fantastic, and the support of all the Irish guys, Pádraig and G Mac and Rory and Paul and all of the Irish guys coming to play in support, hopefully this week we'll all give the crowd something to roar about.”


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