Portstewart – Irish Open organisers are looking to increase the prize fund to $10 million in a bid to attract more of the leading American players to Ireland’s premier golf event.
This year’s event is the richest ever with a prize pool of $7 million and is hosted for the third year running by a four-time Major winner, Rory McIlroy.
If the drive to increase the prize fund is successful, it would make the Irish event the richest on the European Tour.
McIlroy managed to persuade current world No 2 Hideki Matsuyama to Portstewart along with Spanish sensation Jon Rahm and reigning Olympic gold medal winner Justin Rose, respectively No 11 and No 13 in the world.
The only Americans in the competition are three European Tour-based players in Daniel Im, Paul Peterson and David Lipsky, with I’m sharing the lead on day one with a new course record equalling 64.
World No 1 Dustin Johnson will travel to Ireland next week, but not to partake in any official competition.
It is understood he will be joining noted Irish entrepreneur’s JP McManus and Dermot Desmond playing practice rounds on a number of links courses in the Dublin area ahead of the following week’s Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. Read more