Rory McIlroy has promised to bring the US Open trophy to Killarney for July’s Irish Open party. And if things work out, he could turn up with the Claret Jug too.
The event is struggling to find a sponsor but the presence of golf’s new superstar will send ticket sales through the roof.
McIlroy has slashed next week’s French Open from his schedule so he can take a three week break and then contend for Open glory at Sandwich.
The Irish Open takes place from July 28-31 and the Holywood idol has vowed to keep his promise to tee it up.
He said: “I will definitely be in Killarney with the US Open trophy. The only reason I am not playing the French Open is because what is going to be going on the next couple of weeks.
“If I was to play the French Open I want to be ready to go and give that tournament my best shot but with what is likely to happen the next couple of weeks won’t allow me to do that.
“So it will be three weeks off and get myself ready for The Open at Royal St. Georges that should put me in a good position for that.”
Following the loss of sponsors 3 last year, the Irish Open is likely to have a small €1.5m prize fund barring a last minute announcement by the European Tour.
But with major winners McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington in the field alongside some of Europe’s top stars, it’s set to be a hit for the second year in a row.
Some 82,000 fans flocked to Killarney Golf and Fishing Club over the four days last year – the second highest attendance for a European Tour event after the flagship BMW PGA Championship which was attended by 88,000.