Shane Lowry, the 2009 Irish Open champion, took to the high seas today to launch the countdown to the Irish Open, which will take place at Fota Island Resort from June 19-22.
With four days of world class competition involving 156 players, over 1,600 staff, a €2m prize fund and an expected attendance of around 100,000 spectators, Cork will play host to an unforgettable festival of golf this summer.
But before the event gets underway next month Lowry, who captured the Irish Open while still an amateur amid chaotic scenes at Baltray five years ago, decided to test his skills over an altogether different golf course – on board the 962 foot long Brilliance of the Seas cruise ship, which docked in Cobh for the day.
Lowry boarded the impressive Royal Caribbean International-owned ship to take part in a pre-tournament photo shoot, and at the same time to tackle the miniature golf course and Fota Island Resort’s Golf Pro Kevin Morris ably stepped up to the challenge on the nine-hole course.
Lowry commented: “It’s been a great buzz to board the Brilliance of the Seas and just appreciate the scale of these cruise ships. The Irish Open is an event close to my heart and I was delighted to come to Cork today to help promote the event with Captain Manolis and Mayor Noel O’Connor, as well as getting the chance of some early practice over the Fota Island course.”
The Irish Open offers great value with advance tickets priced at €30 for an Adult Day Ticket (€35 at gate) and €70 for Adult Season Tickets (€80 at gate). Under 16s are free of charge when accompanied by an adult.
Grandstands afford free public access but can be reserved for €10 on Saturday and €15 on Sunday.
Major champions Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke along with Lowry and European Ryder Cup captain, Paul McGinley will form part of an elite home challenge and the Irish contingent is expected to be on top form and hungry to add to its four Irish Championship titles on home turf since 1975.
For tickets, prizes and more information visit www.irishopen.ie
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