The economic crisis has scuppered Rory McIlroy's hopes of winning the Northern Ireland Masters at Lough Erne next year.

Lough Erne ResortMcIlroy was hoping to get the chance to grab a European Tour win at the spectacular County Fermanagh resort he represents at its touring professional.

But attempts by promoters International Sports Management to secure funding from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board appear to have failed.

ISM’s Chubby Chandler confirmed: “I’m afraid we've failed at the final hurdle and it's unlikely now that we will pull it off.”

The British Masters moved from the Forest of Arden to The Belfry in 2006 but sponsors Quinn Direct pulled out due to the financial crisis and last year's event was cancelled.

ISM hoped to revive the tournament by rebranding it the Northern Ireland Masters with star player McIlroy taking on the likes of Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell on the Faldo Championship Course from September 16-19 - just two weeks before the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.

Around €3m in funding was required from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board but talks with Arlene Foster, the Northern Ireland minister for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, appear to have failed.

The news is a blow to McIlroy who believes that Lough Erne is good enough to stage a world class event.

Speaking at last week’s Volvo World Match Play in Spain, McIlroy said: “I don’t know the details of what is being discussed but I do know Lough Erne would be a fantastic venue for a European Tour event.”

Around 6,000 fans packed the resort last July to watch McIlroy beat Padraig Harrington in an exhibition dubbed “The Duel on the Lough.”

European Tour boss George O’Grady said in Spain last week that the matter was in the hands of ISM and he had no news of a tour event in Northern Ireland next year.

O'Grady said: “ISM are the promoters and I know there was a lot of discussion around the time of that exhibition match in the summer.

“But discussion and action are two different things and it is hard enough work keeping the 3 Irish Open going.”

Harrington raved about the facilities during his clash with McIlroy last July and took his sponsors Bank of Ireland there for a corporate day,

Harrington said: “Lough Erne has everything going for it. If a tournament was held here you would see a fantastically exciting event with plenty of birdies. It has got everything you could want for a tournament.”

McIlroy added: “Northern Ireland is crying out for a big golf tournament to come here. As Padraig said, the facilities and the golf course well exceed what you need to hold a tour event.

“Hopefully in the not too distant future a tour event will come here and if there is one here I know it will be a great success and the European Tour or whoever hosts it, will want to come back.”

It now appears that they will no have to wait a little longer.