Maurice O'Meara

Killarney sharpens teeth for Irish Open but new sponsor left until 2012

The Irish Open in Killarney looks set to be an even bigger success this year. Pic: www.golffile.ieKillarney’s Killeen Course will be a tougher prospect for Rory McIlroy and Co. this time around when it hosts “The Irish Open  presented by Discover Ireland” from July 28-31.

It’s bad news for the players ahead of an event that has seen its prize fund slashed in half - to just €1.5m - following the exodus of title sponsors “3” last year.

But the good news is that European Tour and Failte Ireland will bear the €3m-plus prize money and staging costs and ride out the storm ahead of what they hope will be a new, three-year title sponsorship announcement next season.