Rory McIlroy and fellow countryman Graeme McDowell have confirmed their participation in the Irish Open which is scheduled to take place early next summer in what is being seen as a huge boost to the event.
The confirmation came after the European Tour sanctioned a change of date for the event and it enabled the duo from the Northern Irish province of Ulster to throw their names into the mix for the Irish Open title.
A proposal had been made so that the Irish Open be moved ahead in the calendar on the European Tour by a week, immediately after the end of the US Open which will take place at Pinehurst at a meeting of the Europe’s Tournament Players Committee, and now, the European Tour has sanctioned the proposal, which will allow two of Northern Ireland’s biggest sporting icons to return to their home event.
There was also discussion in the meeting regarding a regulation that would make it mandatory for a European Tour member to play in the primary event at their home and another event on the European Tour. Both Rory McIlroy as well as Graeme McDowell had long stated that they are committed to the Irish Open but the date of the event for next season would have clashed with the Scottish Open, which both of them wanted to play in.
But now, with this date change, both McDowell and his younger compatriot have no hurdles stopping them from playing in their home event.
And Paul McGinley, he Ryder Cup captain for the European Tour also hailed the efforts of the European Tour to ensure players play in their home events. He stated that the Irish Open would have lost a lot of charm without Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy present and this has been a great step.