Irish Open (golf)
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Irish Open Golf

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open
Irish Open Logo 2014.jpg
Tournament information
LocationThomastown, County Kilkenny, Republic of Ireland
Established1927, 94 years ago
Course(s)Mount Juliet Golf & Spa Hotel
Length7,250 yards (6,630 m)
Tour(s)European Tour
FormatStroke play
Prize fundEUR3,000,000
Month playedJuly
Tournament record score
Aggregate264 Jon Rahm (2017)
264 Jon Rahm (2019)
To par-24 Jon Rahm (2017)
Current champion
United States John Catlin
Location Map
Mount Juliet is located in island of Ireland
Mount Juliet
Mount Juliet
Location in Ireland

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open (Irish: Comórtas Oscailte na hÉireann[1]) is a professional golf tournament on the European Tour. The title sponsor is currently Dubai Duty Free.

The Irish Open was first played in 1927 and was played annually, except for the war years, until 1950. There was a tournament in 1953, but the event was then not played again until revived in 1975. It has been contested annually since then. From 1963 to 1974 Carroll's sponsored a tournament, generally called the Carroll's International and in 1975 they became the sponsor of the Irish Open which became known as the Carroll's Irish Open.

The Irish Open is one of the European Tour Rolex Series events. The Rolex Series started in 2017, with each tournament in the series having a minimum prize fund of $7 million. The date was moved to early July, two weeks before The Open Championship.

Since 2014 (except in 2016), it has been one of the Open Qualifying Series with the leading three players who have not already qualified and who finish in the top ten, qualifying for The Open Championship.


Pub window art in Lahinch for the 2019 Irish Open

The first Irish Open in 1927 was played at Portmarnock Golf Club from 16 to 18 August. There were 18 holes played on the first two days with the leading 60 players and ties playing a further 36 holes on the final day. In a stiff breeze local professional Willie Nolan led after the first day with a course record 72.[2] On the second day Nolan faded after an 83 and the lead was taken by Henry Cotton on 146 with Jack Smith a shot behind. The cut was 165 and exactly 60 players qualified, including 6 amateurs.[3] Conditions were very poor on the final day with the refreshment and press tents blown down and rain falling in torrents. Jack Smith had an excellent 77 in the morning and with Henry Cotton taking 86, Smith had an eight-shot lead over Cotton and Archie Compston. Smith, however, went to pieces and had a final round of 91 and was overtaken by Cotton, who took 81. George Duncan, starting the final round 14 shots behind, scored 74 and finished with a total of 312, beating Smith by three and Cotton by one. Duncan's score of 74 was remarkable in that it was only two strokes over the new course record, on a day when his 74 and Smith's 77 in the morning were the only two rounds under 80 on the final day. Duncan took the Championship Gold Medal and the first prize of £150. Nolan was the leading Irishman, finishing fifth.[4]

After Duncan's win in 1927, the event was dominated by English golfers, the only other non-English winner before World War II being Bobby Locke in 1938. Ernest Whitcombe won in 1928, the first of four wins by the Whitcombe brothers; Ernest won again in 1935 while Charles won in 1930 and Reg won in 1936. Ernest Whitcombe had rounds of 68 and 69 on the first two days of the 1928 event, to take a seven stroke lead. Rounds of 73 and 78 on the final day were enough to give him a four stroke victory.[5] The 1929 championship was played again at Portmarnock and resulted in a three-way tie on 309, just 3 strokes better than Duncan's score there in 1927.[6] There was a 36-hole playoff the following day. Abe Mitchell and Archie Compston were level after the first round on 75 with Len Holland five behind. Mitchell scored another 75 in the afternoon to win by two strokes from Compston and ten from Holland.[7] Charles Whitcombe dominated the 1930 tournament, winning by 8 strokes from defending champion Abe Mitchell. Whitcombe led by four after the first two rounds and full away further on the final day.[8] the 1931 championship was won by a relative unknown, Bob Kenyon, who won by two after a final round 70. Five players tied for second place, including Ernest Whitcombe who finished with a course-record 66 on the Royal Dublin links.[9]

Alf Padgham won in 1932 with steady rounds of 71-71-71-70, one ahead of Bill Davies.[10] Bob Kenyon won for the second time in 1933. Defending champion Padgham had led after two rounds but had a disappointing third round 76 and finished runner-up, two behind.[11] Syd Easterbrook won at Portmarnock in 1934 with a total of 284, 25 better than the winning score there in 1929, to win by 7 strokes from the Irish amateur, Joe Brown, who.recorded the best finish by an Irish golfer at that time.[12] Two of the Whitcombe brothers, Ernest and Reg, tied in 1935. Bob Kenyon had a good chance to win for the third time but had 5s at the last two holes to finish a shot behind.[13] In the playoff Reg had a bad start, taking 7 at the first hole. He recovered to be level early in the second round but had another 7 and Ernest eventually won by three strokes.[14]

In 1932 and 1933, the Irish Open was preceded by an international match between teams of English and Irish professionals. England won the first match 16-2 and the second match 13-3 with two halves.[15][16] The matches followed the same form as the England-Scotland Professional Match that had been played just before the Open Championship.

After his playoff loss in 1935, Reg Whitcombe won in 1936, two ahead of Bill Davies who was a runner-up for the third time. Whitcombe had final day rounds of 68 and 69 for a record low total of 281.[17] Jimmy Adams seemed the likely winner at Royal Portrush in 1937 after finishing on 285. However Bert Gadd finished with two 3s (eagle-birdie) to win by a shot.[18] 20-year-old Bobby Locke, who had recently turned professional, broke the run of English winners in 1938. Henry Cotton had seemed the likely winner but finished 4-5-5-5 while Locke finished 2-4-4-4 and finished a stroke behind.[19] Arthur Lees won in 1939 with a total 287 with Reg Whitcombe two behind. 19-year-old Irish amateur Jimmy Bruen led after two rounds but scored 75 and 81 on the final day to drop into 6th place, leading amateur for the third successive year.[20]

When the event resumed at Portmarnock in 1946, Fred Daly became the first Irish winner. The tournament turned in a contest between Daly and Bobby Locke, Daly eventually winning by 4 strokes. No one else was within 10 shots of Daly.[21] There was a second Irish winner at Royal Portrush in 1947 when Harry Bradshaw won the title, two ahead of Flory Van Donck. Max Faulkner led after three rounds but a final round 76 dropped him down to third place.[22] Dai Rees won in 1948, his total of 295 being two better than Norman Von Nida. Faulkner again led after three round but a 77 left him tied for third place.[23] Bradshaw won for a second time at Belvoir Park in 1949. Bobby Locke came close to matching him but finished a stroke behind.[24] The 1950 tournament was won by the Australian Ossie Pickworth, two ahead of John Panton and Norman Von Nida.[25]

The event was not held in 1951 or 1952 but was held again in 1953 at Belvoir Park. Eric Brown won with a score of 272, a stroke ahead of Harry Weetman. 22-year-old Peter Alliss had taken an early clubhouse lead on 274 but was eventually beaten by Weetman and then Brown, finishing in third place.[26] After 1953, the event was not played again until 1975; plans to revive the tournament in 1970 were abandoned after backers Pepsi pulled out.[27][28]

Since 1963 Carroll's had sponsored a major tournament, the Carroll's International at Woodbrook Golf Club, which had been a European Tour event since the tour started in 1972. For the 1975 European Tour season the Carroll's International was dropped and Carroll's became the sponsor of the revived Irish Open, which took its place on the tour and was played at Woodbrook in the first year.[29] Christy O'Connor Jnr became the third Irish winner, finishing one ahead of Harry Bannerman, and took the first prize of £5,000.[30]


  • Connacht province has never hosted the event

Tournament notes

The Irish Open has been played at a variety of dates from mid-May to the end of August, but since the start of the Rolex series in 2017 it has been held in early July, two weeks before the Open Championship.

The tournament enjoys one of the largest galleries on the European Tour. In 2010, the Irish Open at Killarney Golf & Fishing Club had an attendance of 85,179 over four days, second only to the BMW PGA Championship. In 2011, Killarney Golf & Fishing Club tallied in excess of 86,500 over four days. This was again the second highest on the European Tour to the BMW PGA Championship. In 2012, Royal Portrush Golf Club had a record attendance of 112,000 over four days; 131,000 over the six days. This was the only time a European Tour event had sold out prior to play on all four days and was the highest attendance ever recorded on the European Tour.

Since 2008, it has been the only European Tour event played in Ireland. The European Open was held at the K Club in Straffan for thirteen years from 1995 to 2007 while the 2007 Seve Trophy and the 2006 Ryder Cup were the last important men's professional team competitions played in Ireland.

Recent sponsorship

Following the departure of Nissan as title sponsor in 2006, Adare Golf Club, part of the Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort in County Limerick, had planned to host the tournament for three years, from 2007 to 2009. After two years, it was announced in January 2009 that they could no longer sustain the losses incurred by hosting the event for a third year. In early March, the European Tour confirmed the national championship would return to County Louth Golf Club, Baltray, which had last hosted in 2004, with a new sponsor, 3 Mobile.[31]

Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority of the Republic of Ireland, agreed to sponsor in 2011, but with a reduced purse, cut in half to EUR1.5 million.[32] In 2015 the event was sponsored by Dubai Duty Free in conjunction with the Rory Foundation. In October 2015, it was announced that Dubai Duty Free had extended their sponsorship to 2018 along with the Rory Foundation.[33] In May 2018, it was announced that Dubai Duty Free would extend their sponsorship to 2022.


European Tour (Rolex Series) 2017-2019
European Tour (Regular) 1975-2016, 2020
Pre-European Tour 1927-1953
# Year Winner Score To par Margin of
Runner(s)-up Winner's
share (EUR)
Dubai Duty Free Irish Open
66th 2021 Mount Juliet
65th[a] 2020 United States John Catlin 270 -10 2 strokes England Aaron Rai 208,334 Galgorm Castle
64th 2019 Spain Jon Rahm (2) 264 -16 2 strokes England Andy Sullivan
Austria Bernd Wiesberger
1,034,478 Lahinch
Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation
63rd 2018 Scotland Russell Knox 274 -14 Playoff New Zealand Ryan Fox 998,425 Ballyliffin
62nd 2017 Spain Jon Rahm 264 -24 6 strokes Scotland Richie Ramsay
England Matthew Southgate
1,019,362 Portstewart
61st 2016 Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy 276 -12 3 strokes Wales Bradley Dredge
Scotland Russell Knox
666,660 The K Club
60th 2015 Denmark Søren Kjeldsen 282 -2 Playoff England Eddie Pepperell
Austria Bernd Wiesberger
416,660 Royal County Down
The Irish Open
59th 2014 Finland Mikko Ilonen 271 -13 1 stroke Italy Edoardo Molinari 333,330 Fota Island
58th 2013 England Paul Casey 274 -14 3 strokes Netherlands Joost Luiten
England Robert Rock
333,330 Carton House
57th 2012 Wales Jamie Donaldson 270 -18 4 strokes Spain Rafa Cabrera-Bello
England Anthony Wall
Paraguay Fabrizio Zanotti
333,330 Royal Portrush
Irish Open presented by Discover Ireland
56th 2011 England Simon Dyson 269 -15 1 stroke Australia Richard Green 250,000 Killarney
3 Irish Open
55th 2010 England Ross Fisher 266 -18 2 strokes Republic of Ireland Pádraig Harrington 500,000 Killarney
54th 2009 Republic of Ireland Shane Lowry (a) 271 -17 Playoff England Robert Rock 500,000[b] County Louth
Irish Open
53rd 2008 England Richard Finch 278 -10 2 strokes Chile Felipe Aguilar 416,600 Adare
52nd 2007 Republic of Ireland Pádraig Harrington 283 -5 Playoff Wales Bradley Dredge 416,600 Adare
Nissan Irish Open
51st 2006 Denmark Thomas Bjørn 283 -5 1 stroke England Paul Casey 366,660 Carton House
50th 2005 Wales Stephen Dodd 279 -9 Playoff England David Howell 333,330 Carton House
49th 2004 Australia Brett Rumford 274 -14 4 strokes Republic of Ireland Pádraig Harrington
France Raphaël Jacquelin
316,660 County Louth
48th 2003 New Zealand Michael Campbell 277 -11 Playoff Denmark Thomas Bjørn
Sweden Peter Hedblom
300,000 Portmarnock
Murphy's Irish Open
47th 2002 Denmark Søren Hansen 270 -14 Playoff England Richard Bland
Sweden Niclas Fasth
South Africa Darren Fichardt
266,600 Fota Island
46th 2001 Scotland Colin Montgomerie (3) 266 -18 5 strokes Northern Ireland Darren Clarke
Sweden Niclas Fasth
Republic of Ireland Pádraig Harrington
266,600 Fota Island
45th 2000 Sweden Patrik Sjöland 270 -14 2 strokes Sweden Freddie Jacobson 267,319 Ballybunion
44th 1999 Spain Sergio García 268 -16 3 strokes Argentina Ángel Cabrera 233,320 Druids Glen
43rd 1998 England David Carter 278 -6 Playoff Scotland Colin Montgomerie 223,988 Druids Glen
42nd 1997 Scotland Colin Montgomerie (2) 269 -15 7 strokes England Lee Westwood 159,090 Druids Glen
41st 1996 Scotland Colin Montgomerie 279 -5 1 stroke Scotland Andrew Oldcorn
Australia Wayne Riley
178,571 Druids Glen
40th 1995 Scotland Sam Torrance (2) 277 -11 Playoff England Stuart Cage
England Howard Clark
155,550 Mount Juliet
39th 1994 Germany Bernhard Langer (3) 275 -13 1 stroke Australia Robert Allenby
United States John Daly
138,271 Mount Juliet
Carroll's Irish Open
38th 1993 England Nick Faldo (3) 276 -12 Playoff Spain José María Olazábal 135,282 Mount Juliet
37th 1992 England Nick Faldo (2) 274 -14 Playoff South Africa Wayne Westner 106,784 Killarney
36th 1991 England Nick Faldo 283 -5 3 strokes Scotland Colin Montgomerie 85,344 Killarney
35th 1990 Spain José María Olazábal 282 -6 3 strokes United States Mark Calcavecchia
New Zealand Frank Nobilo
81,036 Portmarnock
34th 1989 Wales Ian Woosnam (2) 278 -10 Playoff Republic of Ireland Philip Walton 61,296 Portmarnock
33rd 1988 Wales Ian Woosnam 278 -10 7 strokes England Nick Faldo
Spain José María Olazábal
Spain Manuel Piñero
Republic of Ireland Des Smyth
54,166 Portmarnock
32nd 1987 West Germany Bernhard Langer (2) 269 -19 10 strokes Scotland Sandy Lyle 50,174 Portmarnock
31st 1986 Spain Seve Ballesteros (3) 285 -3 2 strokes Australia Rodger Davis
Zimbabwe Mark McNulty
44,380 Portmarnock
30th 1985 Spain Seve Ballesteros (2) 278 -10 Playoff West Germany Bernhard Langer 28,000 Royal Dublin
29th 1984 West Germany Bernhard Langer 267 -21 4 strokes England Mark James 25,662 Royal Dublin
28th 1983 Spain Seve Ballesteros 271 -17 2 strokes Scotland Brian Barnes 25,662 Royal Dublin
27th 1982 Republic of Ireland John O'Leary 287 -1 1 stroke England Maurice Bembridge 18,742 Portmarnock
26th 1981 Scotland Sam Torrance 276 -12 5 strokes England Nick Faldo 18,659 Portmarnock
25th 1980 England Mark James (2) 284 -4 1 stroke Scotland Brian Barnes 16,730 Portmarnock
24th 1979 England Mark James 282 -6 1 stroke United States Ed Sneed 14,000 Portmarnock
23rd 1978 Scotland Ken Brown 281 -7 1 stroke Spain Seve Ballesteros
Republic of Ireland John O'Leary
14,000 Portmarnock
22nd 1977 United States Hubert Green 283 -5 1 stroke United States Ben Crenshaw 11,200 Portmarnock
21st 1976 United States Ben Crenshaw 284 -4 2 strokes Scotland Brian Barnes
United States Billy Casper
England Martin Foster
9,800 Portmarnock
20th 1975 Republic of Ireland Christy O'Connor Jnr 275 -21 1 stroke Scotland Harry Bannerman 7,000 Woodbrook
Irish Open
1954-74: No tournament
19th 1953 Scotland Eric Brown 272 1 stroke England Harry Weetman 700 Belvoir Park
1951-52: No tournament
18th 1950 Australia Ossie Pickworth 287 2 strokes Scotland John Panton
Australia Norman Von Nida
400 Royal Dublin
17th 1949 Republic of Ireland Harry Bradshaw (2) 286 1 stroke South Africa Bobby Locke 400 Belvoir Park
16th 1948 Wales Dai Rees 295 2 strokes Australia Norman Von Nida 400 Portmarnock
15th 1947 Republic of Ireland Harry Bradshaw 290 2 strokes Belgium Flory Van Donck Royal Portrush
14th 1946 Northern Ireland Fred Daly 288 4 strokes South Africa Bobby Locke Portmarnock
1940-45: No tournament due to World War II
13th 1939 England Arthur Lees 287 2 strokes England Reg Whitcombe Royal County Down
12th 1938 South Africa Bobby Locke 292 1 stroke England Henry Cotton 150 Portmarnock
11th 1937 England Bert Gadd 284 1 stroke Scotland Jimmy Adams Royal Portrush
10th 1936 England Reg Whitcombe 281 2 strokes England Bill Davies Royal Dublin
9th 1935 England Ernest Whitcombe (2) 292 Playoff England Reg Whitcombe Royal County Down
8th 1934 England Syd Easterbrook 284 7 strokes Republic of Ireland Joe Brown (a) Portmarnock
7th 1933 England Bob Kenyon (2) 286 2 strokes England Alf Padgham Malone Golf Club
6th 1932 England Alf Padgham 283 1 stroke England Bill Davies Cork Golf Club
5th 1931 England Bob Kenyon 291 2 strokes England Bill Davies
Wales Bert Hodson
England Abe Mitchell
England Mark Seymour
England Ernest Whitcombe
Royal Dublin
4th 1930 England Charles Whitcombe 289 8 strokes England Abe Mitchell Royal Portrush
3rd 1929 England Abe Mitchell 309 Playoff England Archie Compston
England Len Holland
2nd 1928 England Ernest Whitcombe 288 4 strokes England Archie Compston 150 Royal County Down
1st 1927 Scotland George Duncan 312 1 stroke England Henry Cotton 150 Portmarnock
  1. ^ The 2020 tournament was originally scheduled as a Rolex Series event but was downgraded as a result of rescheduling with a reduced prize fund due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. ^ As Lowry was an amateur, he received no prize money. The winner's share was awarded to leading professional, Robert Rock.


Multiple winners

Name Wins Years
Scotland Colin Montgomerie 3 1996, 1997, 2001
Germany Bernhard Langer 3 1984, 1987, 1994
England Nick Faldo 3 1991, 1992, 1993
Spain Seve Ballesteros 3 1983, 1985, 1986
Spain Jon Rahm 2 2017, 2019
Scotland Sam Torrance 2 1981, 1995
Wales Ian Woosnam 2 1988, 1989
England Mark James 2 1979, 1980
Republic of Ireland Harry Bradshaw 2 1947, 1949
England Ernest Whitcombe 2 1928, 1935
England Bob Kenyon 2 1931, 1933

Future venues


  1. ^ "Cailleadh galfaire aitheanta na hÉireann, Christy O'Connor Jnr. sa Spáinn aréir". Raidió Teilifís Éireann (in Irish). 6 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Golf - The Irish Open Championship". The Times. 17 August 1927. p. 5.
  3. ^ "Golf - The Irish Open Championship". The Times. 18 August 1927. p. 5.
  4. ^ "The Irish Open Championship - G Duncan the first holder". The Times. 19 August 1927. p. 6.
  5. ^ a b "Irish Open Golf Championship". The Glasgow Herald. 1 June 1928. p. 7.
  6. ^ a b "Irish "Open" Title". The Glasgow Herald. 12 July 1929. p. 3.
  7. ^ a b "Mitchell Wins his First Championship". The Glasgow Herald. 13 July 1929. p. 2.
  8. ^ a b "Irish Open Title". The Glasgow Herald. 7 June 1930. p. 14.
  9. ^ a b "Unknown Wins". The Glasgow Herald. 28 August 1931. p. 10.
  10. ^ a b "Padgham's Fine Victory". The Glasgow Herald. 26 August 1932. p. 3.
  11. ^ a b "Kenyon Again Wins Irish Open Championship". The Glasgow Herald. 29 July 1933. p. 17.
  12. ^ a b "Success of Syd Easterbrook". The Glasgow Herald. 20 July 1934. p. 7.
  13. ^ a b "Brothers Tie for Title". The Glasgow Herald. 26 July 1935. p. 3.
  14. ^ a b "Replayed Golf Final". The Glasgow Herald. 27 July 1935. p. 4.
  15. ^ "International at Cork". The Glasgow Herald. 23 August 1932. p. 3.
  16. ^ "England beat Ireland". The Glasgow Herald. 26 July 1933. p. 6.
  17. ^ a b "Record Round in Irish "Open"". The Glasgow Herald. 17 July 1936. p. 19.
  18. ^ a b "Gadd's Winning Round". The Glasgow Herald. 30 July 1937. p. 6.
  19. ^ a b "Locke Comes From Behind To Win Irish "Open"". The Glasgow Herald. 22 July 1938. p. 4.
  20. ^ a b "Arthur Lees Wins His First Big Tournament". The Glasgow Herald. 21 July 1939. p. 19.
  21. ^ a b "Daly Wins Irish Golf Title". The Glasgow Herald. 19 July 1946. p. 7.
  22. ^ a b "Bradshaw Wins Irish Open Golf Title". The Glasgow Herald. 11 July 1947. p. 6.
  23. ^ a b "Rees Gains First National Title". The Glasgow Herald. 10 July 1948. p. 6.
  24. ^ a b "Bradshaw Wins Irish Open Title". The Glasgow Herald. 30 July 1949. p. 2.
  25. ^ a b "Pickworth Wins Irish "Open"". The Glasgow Herald. 15 July 1950. p. 2.
  26. ^ a b "Irish Title for Brown". The Glasgow Herald. 1 August 1953. p. 2.
  27. ^ "Boost for Irish golf". Drogheda Independent. Drogheda, Leinster, Republic of Ireland. 7 February 1969. p. 20. Retrieved 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  28. ^ "Sponsors withdraw". Drogheda Independent. Drogheda, Leinster, Republic of Ireland. 7 November 1969. p. 19. Retrieved 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  29. ^ "Irish Open to be staged again". Glasgow Herald. Glasgow, Scotland. 29 September 1969. p. 23. Retrieved 2020 – via Google News Archive.
  30. ^ "Irish Open 1975". Irish Golf Desk. Retrieved 2018.
  31. ^ "Irish Open prize money increased". BBC Sport. 4 March 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  32. ^ "Purse is down but Rory will be there". Irish Times. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 2012.
  33. ^ "Dubai Duty Free extends Irish Open sponsorship until 2018". PGA European Tour. 12 October 2015.
  34. ^ "Irish Open: Tournament History". European Tour. Retrieved 2018.
  35. ^ "The Irish Open". Irish Golf Desk. Retrieved 2018.
  36. ^ "Irish Open". The Glasgow Herald. 19 August 1927. p. 11.

External links

Coordinates: 55°17?33?N 7°22?23?W / 55.2924°N 7.3731°W / 55.2924; -7.3731

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