The list of world-class golfers having comitted to the 2015 Irish Open is growing by the day and huge credit is due to Rory McIlroy and ‘The Rory Foundation’, hosts of this year’s event at Royal County Down, May 28-31.
This year’s tournament will feature some of the best-known golfers on the world stage. Former world number one, Lee Westwood and American Rickie Fowler, who became only the third player to finish in the top five in all four Major Championships in a single season, last year, have already committed to the event.
Added to that, the Irish; Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley, Padraig Harrington, Shane Lowry, Graeme McDowell and of course McIlroy himself, who will be keen to perform in front of his home crowd having missed the cut in the last couple of years.
With the news this week that four-time Major winner, Ernie Els and Ryder Cup hero Sergio Garcia are set to join Rory and co. in May, this could be the strongest field yet, at an Irish Open.
Garcia expressed his delight at returning to Ireland, on the official Irish Open website, the country of his maiden professional victory.
“I cannot wait to return to a tournament which has such great memories for me. I feel like I have a great connection with the Irish golf fans, not only from my victory back in 1999 but also from The 2006 Ryder Cup at The K Club. They are knowledgeable and respectful and also good fun so it is going to be a great week.”
However, McIlroy has set his sights on adding to that list. Speaking to www.irishopen.ie, he expressed his satisfaction at the recruitments but wants to add even more quality to the field.
“To have Rickie, Sergio, Ernie, Lee, Darren and Graeme, as well as Mikko, already committed by February is incredible and I’m really proud to be involved in what is shaping up to be one of the great events of The European Tour season. Hopefully we’ll have a few more big names to add to that list in the next 100 days.”
This year’s Irish Open is shaping up to be a cracker and with the Masters at Augusta National in Georgia being held only a month before the Irish Open, all four Major titles could arrive in County Down in the hands of McIlroy. Yes, it’s wishful thinking but a strong possibility too.
A first Irish Open crown might be a stretch too far for the host…or would it?