Bushmills Irish Whiskey®, which has been handcrafted on the North Coast of Ireland for centuries, has agreed a deal to sponsor the 2012 Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club.
The sponsorship means that Bushmills Irish Whiskey will be the official whiskey of the 2012 Irish Open and will have exclusive whiskey pouring rights at the tournament, which takes place between 28 June and 1 July.
The Old Bushmills Distillery and Royal Portrush Golf Club are two icons of the North Coast of Ireland. Just four miles apart, both are known and loved around the world, both are award winners and both represent the very best of what the region has to offer.
To celebrate the sponsorship, Colum Egan, Master Distiller at the Old Bushmills Distillery, is offering the winner of the tournament the ‘Freedom of the Old Bushmills Distillery’, an honour that will see them granted the keys to his private reserve.
Colum Egan said: “It has been 65 years since the Irish Open was contested at Royal Portrush Golf Club and I am delighted that Bushmills Irish Whiskey will be part of one of the biggest sporting events to have ever been staged on the North Coast of Ireland.
“With the success at Majors in recent years of Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell, we are a region that is no stranger to golfing success. These three great sportsmen represent the very best of sporting achievement.
“Like them and the famous Royal Portrush Golf Course, The Old Bushmills Distillery combines handcrafted qualities with age-old skill and we have also had our own share of international success in recent years – Bushmills 21 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey was recently named ‘Best Irish Whiskey’ at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
“As part of our landmark sponsorship, I’m offering a unique prize for the golfer that wins the tournament. As well as offering the ‘Freedom of the Distillery’, I am also going to place a bottle containing a special blend of Bushmills Irish Whiskey in a bespoke cabinet, handmade from oak that is used in the whiskey making process. That bottle will have pride-of-place right here at the distillery and it will only ever be opened by the winner himself.
“This will be an event that will attract hundreds of thousands of people to the region. Everyone who is coming to the North Coast to watch world class golf has just four miles to travel to also experience award winning Irish Whiskey at the Old Bushmills Distillery. We are so close we could be the 19th hole!
“Good Luck to everyone taking part and hopefully I will be raising a toast of our award winning, handcrafted whiskey to an Irish winner on 1st July.”
James Finnigan of The European Tour, Commercial Director for the Irish Open, said: “The Old Bushmills Distillery is, like Royal Portrush Golf Club, a world famous landmark on the Co. Antrim coast and we are delighted that Bushmills will be the Official Whiskey to the Irish Open next month.
“It is great news to see that the ‘Freedom of the Distillery’ awaits the Irish Open winner and we all hope that an iconic institution and an iconic golf course can welcome an iconic champion on the first Sunday in July.”