Irish Open invites going fast

Who will get the remaining invitations for the Irish Open? 

The European Tour has extended invitations to John Daly, American rookie Mike Miller and two Chinese players for this month's Irish Open at Fota Island. English rookie, former amateur world No 1 Matthew Fitzpatrick is also destined to receive one.

But with the likes of Kevin Phelan, David Higgins, Niall Kearney, Gareth Shaw, Seamus Power, Ruaidhri McGee, Alan Dunbar, Brian Casey, Paul Cutler, and Irish Professional champion Michael McGeady all on the outside looking in, disappointment is guaranteed.

The Chinese invitations are a direct result of the reported €500,000 invested in the tournament by the Kang family, the new owners of Fota Island Resort.

Irish Open invitations plus the irish Region qualifiers 

Miller has friends in Ireland, having played here with the MGA of New York and also in the Irish Amateur Open. Since he turned professional, he has received one PGA Tour invitation and two from the European Tour —  last year's Alfred Dunhill Links as well as last week's Nordea Masters — but has yet to make a cut.

All the Irish candidates for invitations have a case but it would be a surprise if rookie professional Phelan and Munster native Higgins are left out in the cold.

McGee and Kearney have also performed well on the Challenge Tour this season while McGeady would become the first reigning Irish Professional champion to miss the event in 40 years.

Power's Munster credentials and his performance at Carton House last year make him a strong candidate. How much clout Fáilte Ireland has in the decision making process remains to be seen but European Tour CEO George O'Grady certainly has an unenviable task over the coming days.