3, Ireland’s largest high speed network, and The European Tour have today announced that Rory McIlroy will play at this year’s 3 Irish Open, when the tournament returns to Killarney Golf and Fishing Club from 29th July to 1st August.
Rory McIlroy is hoping to employ the same strategy that inspired his first American victory earlier this month to win the 3 Irish Open at the Killarney Golf and Fishing Club from July 29- August 1.
The 21 year old was playing under a dark cloud before his stunning victory at the Quail Hollow Championship, having suffered a loss of form due to a combination of injury and uncertainty surrounding his game.
McIlroy looked like a troubled man as he spoke of taking a break from golf after missing the cut at The Masters Tournament but, a trip home to Northern Ireland to spend time with his straight-talking friends and family soon put his life into perspective.
“I just started to enjoy myself again and realise that not a lot of people get the chance to do what I do and just stop getting so het up and tense about golf,” said McIlroy, who produced an unforgettable final round of ten under par 62 to win at Quail Hollow by four strokes from Masters Champion Phil Mickelson.
“I went out and played some golf with my friends and sort of realise why I started to play the game in the first place – because I love it. You could definitely say there was a little bit of a kick up the backside from my mates. These are all boys my age that I have known for years and they were telling me to take a look at myself and realise what I have and enjoy it because not many people get that chance in life.
“Even the first two rounds at Quail Hollow weren’t great. It was the Saturday 66 that something clicked and that’s what I needed to do, just have fun and let it happen and it was definitely something to do with getting home and playing with my friends and just getting back to being me.
“We played County Down and Portrush when I was back home and I just started to feel better about everything. Then, the Saturday before I left for AmericaI shot 67 round Portrush and I said to myself, ‘if you can shoot 67 here in tough conditions then you should be able to do it anywhere’.
“So going home and getting back to being me was a big factor in getting the form back and it should stand me in good stead for the rest of the year. I’ll be doing exactly the same thing before this year’s 3 Irish Open – I will be playing some social golf with my friends at home so let’s hope they can inspire me to win at Killarney.
“It would be huge to win it. Padraig always says that outside the Majors, the Irish Open is the one he wants to win above all the others and I feel the same way about it.”
McIlroy is excited at the prospect of playing the Killeen Course at the Killarney Golf and Fishing Club for the first time, and is expecting a world class field to assemble in the south west over the Bank Holiday weekend.
He said: “It’s a different course that I haven’t actually played before but the new date is a big bonus for the tournament. It’s the bank holiday weekend in Killarney so hopefully we will have big crowds, decent weather and great tournament.
“I can’t say I remember Faldo winning his Irish Opens at Killarney – I was one or two years old! I do know that the course will be a good test if Faldo won round there twice, and we will have a very strong field – I know Lee Westwood is coming over so we will have at least two or three players from the top ten in the world.”
Robert Finnegan, CEO of 3, said: “We are honoured and delighted to have Rory McIlroy playing at the 2010 3 Irish Open. Over the past number of years Rory has firmly established himself as one the worlds’ finest golfing talents. Rory is currently the cream of a fantastic Irish golfing crop after his magnificent win in Quail Hollow in North Carolina and this win has further underlined his presence on the world stage.
“His stature in the game continues to go from strength to strength and he will be one of the premier attractions at the 3 Irish Open this year. We would ask every follower of Irish golf to come along and get behind Rory at the 3 Irish Open in the Killarney Golf and Fishing Club this August Bank Holiday weekend.”
Redmond O’Donoghue, Chairman, Fáilte Ireland, said: “On behalf of Fáilte Ireland, the national tourism development authority, we are delighted to learn that Rory will join a galaxy of stars for the 3 Irish Open which will be held on the Killeen Course at the Killarney Golf and Fishing Club.
“Golf in Ireland has for many years been a key tourism attraction and the 3 Irish Open will be our flagship this year for promoting golf tourism. This event will highlight the excellent golf facilities available in Ireland to visitors and we look forward to an exciting bank holiday weekend which will showcase the very best this country can offer.
“Golf tourism is very important for Ireland- generating almost 141,000 visitors annually as well as revenue for this country amounting to in excess of €105m. Events such as this will help us to maintain and, indeed, build on this achievement.”
Maurice O’Meara, General Manager of Killarney Golf and Fishing Club, said: “Killarney Golf and Fishing Club are delighted to hear that Rory McIlroy has confirmed his attendance at the 3 Irish Open. It will be an honour to welcome Rory to Killarney and I am sure his playing in the event will add hugely to the week. We look forward to seeing Rory playing the Killeen Course and hopefully recreate some of the wonderful golf we recently saw him play whilst winning in America.”
George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said: “The fearless, aggressive and hugely impressive manner of Rory’s win at Quail Hollow confirmed his status as one of the game’s most talented players. Rory embodies the style and flair of golf’s next generation and will be a huge attraction at the 3 Irish Open.”