Irish Open: McGinley to be 2019 host with event to follow British Masters model
Paul McGinley will be Irish Open host in 2019 as the event follows the British Masters model which has seen different players fill the role.
Rory McIlroy’s charitable foundation has hosted the last three Irish Opens.
McIlroy’s foundation will have the role again this year at Ballyliffin before McGinley hosts the 2019 event.
Major champions Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and McIlroy have committed to undertaking the position over the next number of years.
The precise future rotation of the host role will be confirmed over the coming months along with the 2019 venue.
McIlroy praised for resurrecting Irish Open
European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley described Monday’s announcement as an “exciting development in the history of one of our great tournaments”.
“Ireland has been blessed with many legendary golfers over the years and to have five of them agree to host the country’s national Open over the next five years shows a terrific commitment both to their homeland and to the European Tour,” said Pelley.
The European Tour chief added his “special thanks” to McIlroy for his “tireless work to raise the tournament to an entirely new level”.
McIlroy, who as host won the 2016 event at the K Club, expressed appreciation to the European Tour for “sharing my vision for the event”.
“Now feels like the right time to rotate the tournament hosting process, using the model that has been so successful for the British Masters,” added the four-time major winner.
Major winners delighted at future hosting role
Major winners Clarke, Harrington and McDowell, along with 2014 Europen Ryder Cup captain McGinley, expressed delight at being asked to host the event.
“Everyone has seen what a success the British Masters has become with Ian (Poulter), Luke (Donald), Lee (Westwood) and Justin (Rose) all hosting the event,” said Clarke.
“I think it’s great that we have Rory, Graeme and myself from Northern Ireland and then Paul and Padraig from the South.
“There will be a natural rotation of the tournament around Ireland and I’m sure there will be a fair bit of competition between the lads to see who can put on the biggest and best tournament when we are the tournament host.”
Harrington and McDowell both spoke of how the role will benefit their own charities with the 2010 US Open winner’s foundation involved in raising money for children’s medical research in Ireland and the US.