Buddhist priest saves Irish Senior Open

The Irish Senior Open has been saved from extinction by a Zen Buddhist priest.

Wealthy philanthropist Dr Haruhisa Handa, who trained as  a priest at one of Buddhism’s most sacred sites, has stepped into to sponsor the event, which will be held on the Montgomerie Course at Carton House from June 11-13.

The news answers the prayers of European Senior Tour boss Andy Stubbs, who said in December that “due to the current economic climate it seems unlikely the Irish Seniors Open will take place next year.”

The event will be supported by Failte Ireland with Dr Handa’s International Sports Promotion Society (ISPS) as the title sponsor.

The European Senior Tour said that Handa Irish Senior Open is the third tournament on the 2010 Senior Tour schedule to receive the backing of the ISPS, “so far”.

Handa’s organisation also sponsors the Brunei Senior Masters and the Chang Thailand Senior Masters.

He said: “The Irish Senior Open is a tournament of huge prestige and we are extremely pleased to be title sponsor of such a high profile competition in our first year of association with the European Senior Tour.  

“Everyone at ISPS is thrilled about this new partnership which will help to further showcase the incredible work we do in aid of the International Blind Golf Association (IBGA) – a worthy charity.”