The Irish Open will be one of the THE ‘must play’ events this year and it’s all because of Rory McIlroy.
The world’s number one golf is a powerful force. Rory McIlroy can affect the golfing industry by random actions and statements. However, when he focuses his star power behind a particular cause, the results can be incredible.
This is the case for The Irish Open in 2015, played in Northern Ireland for only the second time in 76 years, it will be the first time for the Royal County Down Golf Club to host this national golf tournament. Located in the picturesque settings in the Murlough Nature Reserve against the beautiful backdrop of the Mountains of Mourne, this par 71, 7186 yard links course is the perfect setting for The Irish Open.
After The European Tour confirmed that the Royal County Down Golf Club would host the Irish Open from 28 – 31 May, McIlroy started beating the bushes to help build a world-class field. To date, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Ernie Els, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke, recent winner Padraig Harrington, and of course returning champion Mikko Ilonen have agreed to join McIlroy at Royal Country Downs.
The Irish Open traditionally has enjoyed fantastic fan support with most of the players belonging to the European Tour. However, with the lack of headliners from the PGA Tour, it would not generally be considered a première event on the world stage. To its credit, The Irish Open does generate some headlines each year, but nothing like what will happen this year.
With McIlroy hopping on board and promoting this professional event, it will gain in popularity and notoriety. The amount of media attention gained through this world-class field will only propel The Irish Open up in the must play events of 2015.
Last year, Rory McIlroy, like many of the top players in golf, created a foundation to contribute to the local charities around events like The Irish Open. The Rory Foundation was established to raise funds for children’s charities across the world.
At The Irish Open, McIlroy’s foundation will team up with the Tour Players Foundation and support the Cancer Fund for Children, located just a few miles from Royal County Down. McIlroy, and all the professional golfers, should be congratulated for giving so much back to the local communities and charities.
As great as the field is at this time, McIlroy continues to seek more top golfers to come challenge for top prize. If Dustin Johnson and Adam Scott accept McIlroy’s invitation to play in at Royal Country Downs in 2015, the already world-class field would receive another tremendous boost.
McIlroy continues to focus on the right players to increase the popularity for this professional event. Players like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are slowly being replaced, both on and off the golf course, by the young guns of golf. It would be great to have either of these aging superstars play in the event, but players such as Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, and Patrick Reed would have the same positive impact on the attendance and media hype.
It never hurts having the world’s number one golfer support your professional golfing event. As Rory McIlroy continues to promote The Irish Open, more and more PGA Tour superstars will make the trip across the pond. The Irish Open already holds many attendance records for a professional golfing event and with this year’s field of superstars continuing to grow, it is expected that more records will be broken in 2015.
The Grateful Golfer – Pundit Arena