Robert Finnegan

McDowell fears "travesty" as Irish Open faces extinction

Mobile phone giants “3” have shown the Irish Open the red card by pulling the plug on its sponsorship deal.

And shocked US Open champion Graeme McDowell reckons it will be “a travesty” if one of Europe’s most prestigious national opens disappears from the European Tour schedule in 2011.

Irish Open kicked to touch as "3" pulls sponsorship plug

Robert Finnegan, CEO of 3, has decided that sponsoring soccer is a better bet that continuing to support the Irish Open.The future of the Irish Open was plunged into doubt yet again when mobile phone giants 3 announced on Friday that it will not be renewing its sponsorship deal for a third year.

Irish Open crown jewel for Killarney kingdom

Hold on to tour Ryder Cup hats. Lakeside gem Killarney is all set to host next year’s star-studded 3 Irish Open.

The European Tour will announce at a press conference next week that the world famous Killeen course will stage Ireland’s showpiece tournament for the third time.

Club sources, who did not wish to be named, confirmed the news that Padraig Harrington and Rory McIlroy will headline the €3m plus event, which is expected to be staged from July 29 to August 2 – two weeks after the Open at St Andrews.

Irish Open sponsors "3" demand better date

Irish Open sponsors “3” have been playing hardball with the European Tour to secure a plum date ahead of the 2010 British Open.

“3” are not pulling out of their Irish Open deal.It was feared that the telecoms giant was set to pull the plug on its €3m-a-year sponsorship deal unless the tour guaranteed them a priceless July slot on the schedule.

But the company confirmed yesterday that they will sign a megabucks contract with the tour within the next two weeks after some hard-nosed negotiations with Wentworth chiefs.

Rachel Channing, head of PR and Communications at “3” insisted: “We are definitely sponsoring the Irish Open and we are in this for the three-year deal.

“We made it very clear to the PGA European Tour that we want them to deliver on their promise to try and improve the Irish Open. Part of that was the discussion around dates.”