The K Club is hosting three Irish Opens but no news on the status of the PGA Tour


THE K CLUB will host the Horizon Irish Open in 2023, 2025 and 2027 but there are more questions than answers about the future of the event.

The Palmer North Course will host the Irish Open every two years from next year, with the third edition coinciding with Ireland’s second hosting of the Ryder Cup at Adare Manor in 2027.

Factoring in the cost of hosting it, global biotechnology giant Horizon Therapeutics could pump at least €50m into the tournament over the next six years.

The June 30-July 3 event at Mount Juliet will be worth $6 million – up 77 percent from last year – with the possibility of that number growing exponentially should the championship go ahead be co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour.

But when it comes to co-sanctioned status on the PGA Tour, the possibility of well-known US stars playing at Adare Manor in Mount Juliet in the week leading up to the JP McManus Pro-Am, the possible increase in the prize fund or a return After Northern Ireland, the tour had no concrete news.

What is certain is that the K Club has made a six-year commitment to the tour, as it also plans to host the €250,000 Irish Challenge in non-Irish Open years, beginning in July at the resort’s Palmer South golf course with further events throughout year 2024 and 2026.

The 2006 Ryder Cup venue, which for 13 years also hosted the European Open, most recently hosted the Irish Open in 2016 when Rory McIlroy finished a birdie par eagle to win by three strokes and win his National for the first time to win Open.

However, McIlroy’s busy schedule leaves him doubtful for Mount Juliet in six weeks, and while he is expected to join Tiger Woods, Collin Morikawa, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau in the star-studded JP McManus Pro-Am on Monday On the Tuesday after the Irish Open (4-5 July), Director of the Irish Open Championship Simon Alliss makes no promises of big name appearances in Co Kilkenny.

“It’s like trying to get prom queen,” Alliss said. “We offer them as much as we can and try to make it as enticing as possible, but these guys will do what they want as they work out their schedule.

“So much will depend on their plans for the Open Championship. We’re optimistic and trying our best, but I definitely wouldn’t stick our neck out and say anything definitive just yet,” he added, adding to the global uncertainty caused by Greg’s $250 million Norman LIV Golf Invitational Series means that “at the moment there is more in the wind”.

As for the likelihood of the Irish Open being co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour, DP World Tour Deputy CEO Guy Kinnings had no news.

“That’s the goal,” said Kinnings. “I think the fact that this tournament was chosen by the PGA Tour in terms of their help and support in developing this opportunity just goes to show how much they and we think of the Horizon Irish Open.

“We will continue to try to grow the tournament in any way we can. We’ll just have to wait and see what that leads to.”

He also commented non-bindingly on an increase in the prize money, but admitted that a return to Northern Ireland in 2024 and 2026 had not been ruled out.

“The fact that the tournament can be so impressive for the whole island of Ireland means we will be looking at opportunities to play up north as well and we will announce those when we are ready,” said Kinnings.

The controversial date of the Irish Open, just ahead of the jointly-sanctioned Scottish Open and The Open, reduces the chances of attracting the superstars, but it’s working for The K Club’s touring pro Séamus Power.

“I think that’s going to vary from player to player, but I generally think two weeks before The Open is a great date,” Power said.

“It’s a fantastic week and to be honest with the involvement of Horizon and the involvement of the K-Club it’s going to be really good and the field is going to get stronger and there’s going to be more and more interest for the players and someone like.” me it is fantastic.

“I think being two weeks early will be very positive. You’ll have some people who like to play the week before a major and not two weeks before, but I generally think two weeks before is a fantastic time to play the event.”

Kinnings added: “For us at the moment we are quite excited to have the run of the Horizon Irish Open, then the Genesis Scottish Open, followed by the Open Championship in its 150th year and right in the middle you have the JP ProAm.

“This will ensure you that for three weeks we will have the best golf in the world in Ireland and Scotland. And we think that works well.

“Like Seamus said, what suits him is one thing, and others may see it differently.”

Should the Irish Open be sanctioned along with the PGA Tour, it would be hard to imagine amateurs and PGA professionals in Ireland retaining their spots in the field.

However, Kinnings admitted Irish Open traditions are important to the tour.

“All I can say is we want to make sure the tournament is the best it can be for all members and have the opportunity to have the best players in the world, which is just fantastic, but also others from others Getting involved in areas, whether it’s amateurs or PGA pros or whatever, that’s something we’ll always keep in mind,” said Kinnings, who is also the Ryder Cup’s director and chief commercial officer.

“Because we know the Horizon Irish Open it should be a focus for Irish golf and the fact that you also have the Irish Challenge and we will be working towards the jewel in the crown which is the Ryder Cup, we just have to make sure that all components are taken into account. So we will certainly look at each aspect and then decide what is right for each edition.”

For the third year in a row, the Irish Open have received EUR 1 million in funding from Sport Ireland. The K Club is hosting three Irish Opens but no news on the status of the PGA Tour

Fry Electronics Team

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