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Irish Open announces 20% purse increase

The Irish Open bucked the global credit crunch on Wednesday, announcing a 20 percent increase in prize money after signing a new sponsor.

The tournament, first played in 1927, will offer prize money of three million euros ($3.76 million) when it is held at County Louth Golf Club in Drogheda from May 14-17.

The European Tour said the sponsorship deal with the mobile phone network 3 would secure the future of the Irish Open for the next three years.

“Everyone on the tour is excited at the prospect of returning to a classic links course in County Louth where I am sure we will receive a typically hospitable Irish welcome,” chief executive George O’Grady said in a news release.

Among the former winners of the event are Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Padraig Harrington, Colin Montgomerie, Bernhard Langer, Jose Maria Olazabal and Ian Woosnam.

Britain’s Richard Finch emerged from a comical tumble into a river at the final hole to claim a two-stroke victory in the 2008 edition at the Adare Manor course.


March 5, 2009

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