Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell have confirmed that they will both compete in the Irish Open, completing Ireland’s line-up of Major Champions at Carton House, in Co. Kildare, from June 27-30.
The pair will join Padraig Harrington and World Number One Rory McIlroy in the field, along with Carton House Touring Professional Shane Lowry, as they attempt to become the first home winner of the event since Lowry’s sensational victory as an amateur at County Louth Golf Club in 2009.
Clarke, the 2011 Open Champion, was third behind winner Thomas Björn the last time the Irish Open was played at Carton House in 2006.
He was also joint runner up to Colin Montgomerie at Fota Island in 2001, and the 44 year old is hoping to go one better when he makes his 22nd appearance in the Irish Open.
“The Irish Open is obviously one of the highlights of the year for us, and it is always an event I always look forward to playing in,” said Clarke.
“The atmosphere at Royal Portrush last year was unbelievable and I think we can expect some more fantastic home support at Carton House. I played well the last time we were there in 2006 so I’d like to think I can do well again this year.”
McDowell, who reached the quarter-finals of last week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play in Arizona, is also looking forward to putting on a good show for the Irish golf fans. The 2010 US Open Champion finished tied 16th last year at his home course of Royal Portrush and has yet to finish in the top ten in the Irish Open, with his best performance to date a share of 11th position at Co. Louth in 2004.
“Carton House should be another great venue for the Irish Open,” said McDowell. “Obviously Portrush was a huge success last year and was very special for me personally, but I think the Irish golf fans will again support the event and it will be another celebration of Irish golf.
“We’ve had some great success on the international stage and so it would be nice for one of us to do it at home, in front of our own fans.
“Personally, I’d love to win the Irish Open one day and hopefully this can be the year I do it.”
Tony Lenehan, Head of Golf Tourism at Fáilte Ireland, long-term partners and supporters of the Irish Open, welcomed today’s news and emphasised: “As a national tourism development authority, Fáilte Ireland recognises the opportunity and impact that the Irish Open provides us in terms of advertising and exposure globally.
“With the recent renaissance in Irish Golf, this year’s Open will be a superb opportunity for thousands of visitors and millions of television viewers to watch many of the great players from this Island who have led that resurgence.
“I particularly believe that Carton House – with its beautiful course and stunning setting - will show this country off to best effect and that both players and venue will be excellent ambassadors for Irish golf and tourism; as well as ensure a thrilling experience for all who attend.”
Golf fans hoping to see Clarke, Harrington, McDowell and McIlroy in action at Carton House can take advantage of a special advance ticketing offer.
An advance season ticket for all four days can be bought for €70, a saving and €10 on admission at the gate. Adult day tickets are priced at €30 pre-event, and €35 on the gate. Concessions are available at €50 for a season (€60 on the gate) and €20 for any one day (€25 on the gate).
Under-16s accompanied by an adult are admitted free of charge and all car parking is also free. Reserved grandstand seating can also be purchased immediately for Thursday, Friday and Saturday (€10) and the Sunday (€15) of the event.
Additionally, as part of the Irish Open ticket campaign, fans of golf and horse racing can enjoy both sports on the same day – Saturday, June 29 – by purchasing a specially priced ‘Irish Double’ ticket to enjoy the third round of the Irish Open and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Day for a combined price of €50.
Corporate Hospitality packages are also available with prices ranging from €245 to €295 (plus VAT). For all enquiries please contact Joanne in CSL Hospitality on 01 676 6650 or firstname.lastname@example.org For further information please visit www.cslhospitality.ie
Full ticket information can be found at: www.europeantour.com/tickets or telephone Ticket Hotline: +440800 023 2557. Irish callers can phone: 1890 252 698. Postal enquiries should be sent to: European Tour Tickets, Mirren Court Three, 123 Renfrew Court Three, Paisley, PA3 4EA.