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Ireland to welcome home Major Champions at Killarney

9.12am 20th July 2011 - Sponsorship

Darren Clarke (Getty Images)

Irish golf fans will be able to give their two reigning Major Champions a rousing homecoming to remember when Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy tee it up in the Irish Open presented by Discover Ireland at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club next week.

Clarke’s emotional victory in The Open Championship at Royal St George’s on Sunday meant historic back-to-back Major triumphs for Northern Ireland, following McIlroy’s record breaking eight shot victory in the US Open Championship last month.

Now Ireland’s golfing public will be able to demonstrate their typically vocal support and appreciation for both Major Champions in their national Open, ensuring a wonderful festival atmosphere in Co. Kerry on Bank Holiday weekend in Ireland (July 28-31).

Clarke and McIlroy will also be joined by Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell, Ireland’s two other recent Major Champions, for what is set to be a celebration of the country’s remarkable achievements on the world stage over the last four years, which was sparked by Harrington’s 2007 Open Championship win.

“The Irish Open promises to be extra special this year with Rory and I bringing back the US Open Trophy and the Claret Jug,” said Clarke.

“We always enjoy an amazing reception from the fans in Ireland but I’ve got a feeling next week could be like nothing we’ve seen before. We are both really looking forward to coming home and celebrating Irish golf’s achievements and we will both be hoping to win the Irish Open to give the fans yet another reason to celebrate.”

McIlroy added: “Darren’s magnificent victory at Royal St George’s means the Irish Open will be even more of a celebration next week.

“The reception I received last month when I brought the US Open Trophy home was unbelievable and I’m sure it will be even better in Killarney when Darren also has the Claret Jug with him. It’s an amazing time for Irish golf at the moment and I’m sure the fans will help make the Irish Open a truly special event.”

More than 82,000 people flocked to Killarney Golf and Fishing Club last year when England’s Ross Fisher held off a final day Harrington charge to capture the title.

Tickets to The Irish Open presented by Discover Ireland are available NOW on, but time is running out for one lucky fan to have the chance of a lifetime by winning a place alongside McIlroy in the Pro-Am on Wednesday, 27 July.

Anyone purchasing a ticket, aged 16 years old or over on July 27, 2011 – and in possession of an official handicap – can enter the prize draw to play alongside McIlroy. The competition closes for entries at midnight on Wednesday 20th July, 2011. European Tour Terms and Conditions apply.

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