Rory McIlroy has confirmed his participation in the 2012 Irish Open from June 28 – July 1.
The US Open Champion revealed his intention to play in his national open at the UBS Hong Kong Open on Wednesday.
“There has been a lot of speculation on whether or not I will play the Irish Open next year, so I am happy to announce that I will definitely play the tournament next season."
“For me, the Irish Open has always been, and will continue to be, one of the most important events on the global golf calendar. It’s our national open and it’s obviously a title that I would love to win at some stage in my career.
"With Irish golf on such a high in recent years, it is important that we put on a good show not only for the home fans, but also for the global golf audience who will be watching the event on TV next summer.
“A lot has been made of me joining the PGA Tour again next year, but in reality, it's not a drastic change to the schedule I have played in recent seasons. It just means that I will be adding a few more events to my schedule in America in 2012.
“Taking my PGA Tour card again does not mean that I'm going to neglect my European Tour status. I'll continue to play a similar schedule of events in Europe and will obviously fulfil my commitment to the European Tour.”
Looking ahead to this week at the UBS Hong Kong Open, the World Number Two is hoping to finally lift the trophy on Sunday night having finished second twice at the Hong Kong Golf Club in the past three years.
Victory, or possibly a second place finish, at Fanling will mean that McIlory will retain an outside chance of winning The European Tour’s Race to Dubai by also lifting the season-ending Dubai World Championship presented by DP World next week.
The 22 year old would be relying on current Race to Dubai and World Number One Luke Donald finishing well down the 60-man field in Dubai in order to top The Race to Dubai, but he is confident that he can keep his side of the bargain.
“Of course winning the next two events is achievable,” said McIlroy, “but I probably need to win here in Hong Kong first to even think about it. So all I can concentrate on is trying to play the best I can here, and if I get myself into a position to win and end up winning, it gives me the chance of going to Dubai next week and trying to win The Race to Dubai.
“But even still, I'll have to win there and Luke will have to finish quite a way below me. It doesn't look like he's done that at all this year, so I don't expect him to do it to be honest, but you never know in this game. All I can do is try and win this week and see what happens after that.”