Major winners Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke along with European Ryder Cup captain, Paul McGinley, will form part of an elite home challenge when the Irish Open returns to Fota Island Resort from June 19-22.
Ireland’s roll-call of Major winners will be joined by one of golf’s most colourful characters, the USA’s John Daly, who has also confirmed his participation in this year’s tournament.
Since Harrington followed up his 2007 Irish Open victory with an Open Championship triumph two month’s later, Irish golfers have excelled on the international stage. The stars of Irish golf have combined to win an extraordinary seven Majors in just seven years and continue to be the star attractions each year at their national tournament.
Add in former Irish Open champion Shane Lowry and European Tour winners Michel Hoey, Peter Lawrie and Damien McGrane, and it’s a 2014 Open that a partisan home crowd will not want to miss.
Current World Number 11, McIlroy said: “The Irish Open is a big part of The European Tour schedule and has been for a long time now, so to still keep it going is important and I want to lend my support to it as much as I can.
“It is the week after the US Open, so I would love to get a few more international players along, but it is a strong event in itself anyway and it is great that all of Ireland’s Major Champions are supporting it once again.”
Joining those Major Champions is the unmistakable figure of Daly, himself a two time Major winner and a huge favourite with the Irish Open galleries since he finished second on his Irish Open debut in 1994.
Often compared to recent Masters Champion Bubba Watson in his unorthodox approach to the game, Daly remains as popular as ever on both sides of the Atlantic with his outlandish playing attire and willingness to interact with spectators.
Daly is the only player to win two Major golf championships but not participate in The Ryder Cup, but he is looking forward to meeting up with McGinley and all of the other Irish players in Cork and said: “I can’t wait to get over there. I always love my time in Ireland, which is a place of great golf courses and brilliant fans.”
The 2014 Irish Open takes place on the Jeff Howes-designed course at Fota Island Resort, offering great value for a full day’s entertainment with advance tickets priced at €30 for an Adult Day Ticket (€35 on the gate) and €70 for Adult Season Tickets (€80 on the gate).
Children under 16 go free.
For tickets, prizes and more info, visit www.irishopen.ie