McIlroy’s persuasive power ensures another big name in the richest Irish open. US Open champion Martin Kaymer confirmed that he will be joining the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open next month. Kaymer will be accompanied by five current or former players who have been world number one like current Number One Rory McIlroy, Donald, Ernie, Els, and Lee Westwood and eight Major Champions McIlroy, Els, Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington, José Maria Olazábal and Paul Lawrie. McIlroy’s charity and The Rory Foundation are hosting the Irish Open to support and promote the event in his native Down. The tournament will take place from May 38-31. The Dubai Duty Free is the title sponsor of the tour and the prize fund will increase by 25% to €2.5 million with the 2015 champion taking home €416,660. Last year Mikko Ilonen won the title and took home €333,330.
The championship director Antonia Beggs has said that Rory wishes to reel in more big names in the tournament. 20,000 spectators per day will be able to attend, whereas during the Sunday’s final round they are already close to a sell-out. 22% of the tickets have been bought from outside Northern Ireland.
The German professional Kaymer is the winner of two major title and has been ranked world number one in 2011 for 8 weeks. He became a member of the European tour and has won 11 tournaments including the PGA Championship in the United States and became the second German to win a major championship after Bernhard Langer. He also became the winner of the WGC-HSBC Champions which made him the tenth player to win both a major title and a World Golf Championship event. But his biggest achievement was winning the US open in 2014, eight strokes ahead of runners-up Erik Compton and Rickie Fowler.