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McGinley relishing Irish Open homecoming

Paul McGinley during a practice round for last week’s Thailand Open, where he was forced to retire with back spasms during the second round. Picture via OneAsia.asiaPaul McGinley expects to feel humbled as well as deeply honoured when he steps on the first tee at the 2013 Irish Open as Ireland’s first Ryder Cup Captain, writes the European Tour.

The 46 year old Dubliner is relishing the opportunity to return to his homeland to compete at Carton Housefrom June 27-30, in a tournament which has been close to his heart since he made his debut as an amateur in 1989.

McGinley, who in January was handed the responsibility of trying to help Europe retain The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland next year, cannot wait to join the all-star cast of Major Champions and Tour winners taking part in what he believes has become one of the premiere events on The European Tour Schedule.

His inclusion in the 2013 field ensures that the ‘Famous Five’ of Irish golf – Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and McGinley – will all be on centre stage at Carton House in June.

“It is obviously a tournament I always look forward to with an immense amount of excitement and anticipation and one I always enjoy playing in,” said McGinley, who holds the privileged position of playing in three successful Ryder Cup Teams.

“I’ve said on many occasions that the Ryder Cup captaincy is not just an honour for me, it is an honour for the whole of Ireland. I think Irish people are genuinely happy for me but they are also genuinely happy that an Irishman is the Captain. You can see that in the reaction I get whenever I come home.

Ireland’s Big Five - (L-R) Paul McGinley, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke. Picture Getty Images“With the success that Irish players have had around the world in recent years, too, the Irish Open really is now a showcase event on The European Tour and a chance for the Irish fans to see the Number One player in the world in Rory McIlroy, as well as our other Major Champions of late – Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke.

“We are in a very fortunate position now to have such a wide variety of talented players from our shores and it is an opportunity for us to showcase that to the world in our home country.”

It will be McGinley’s 23rd appearance at the Irish Open and he will be hoping to draw on the good memories of a tied third place in 2000 at Ballybunion and a tie for fifth at Baltray in 2004.

“I played really well at Ballybunion and at Baltray, too, and I just hope I can recreate a few of those memories when we return to Carton House.

“It would be special for me to go and compete for the title and get up there amongst the leaders. I’m anticipating big crowds there again this year like we had last year at Portrush and hopefully we will get good weather which will help swell the crowds even more.”

Tickets for the 2013 Irish Open are selling well and spectators are advised to buy early. An advance season ticket for all four days of the 2013 Irish Open can be purchased 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 joanne@cslhospitality.ie 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.