Graeme McDowell can look forward to celebrating his 32nd birthday on the final day of next year’s Irish Open.
The European Tour’s international policy chief, Keith Waters, says he is “confident” that the struggling event will get a sponsor and go ahead from July 28-31.
Despite the recent loss of sponsors 3, Waters is looking on the bright side as the tour gets set to release its the 2011 Race to Dubai schedule.
“It will be on the schedule on the same date as last year with TBA (to be announced) next to it,” Waters said in Hong Kong. “We are confident that we can secure a sponsor.
“The Irish Open is an integral and tremendously important part of the European Tour schedule and the Irish players have been playing so well lately that I am confident that it will go ahead.”
The European Tour has been in talks with Failte Ireland and potential sponsors over the future of the €3m event.
The tourism body to expected to increase its €1m stake in the prize fund despite the government’s pledge to slash spending during the current economic crisis.
Desperate to see the Irish Open survive its latest crisis, McDowell said recently: “It’s imperative that we find a way to make the Irish Open happen next year as no event in Ireland would be a travesty with the strength of Irish golf right now.”