Bushmills to sponsor Irish Open
With weeks to go until thousands of golf fans descend on the north coast for the Irish Open, a new sponsor has been announced for the event.
Thursday, 24 May 2012
Bushmills Irish Whiskey has agreed a deal to be a sponsor for the tournament at Royal Portrush Golf Club next month.
The tipple is brewed four miles from the golf club and it is thought the Irish Open will cost around £4m to stage.
James Finnigan of The European Tour, Commercial Director for the Irish Open, said: "The Old Bushmills Distillery is, like Royal Portrush Golf Club, a world famous landmark on the Co Antrim coast and we are delighted that Bushmills will be the Official Whiskey to the Irish Open next month.
The tournament, which runs from 28 June to 1 July, has not been hosted at Royal Portrush for 65 years.
Bushmills' Master Distiller Colum Egan said he was delighted to be part of one of the north coast's biggest sporting events.
"With the success at Majors in recent years of Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell, we are a region that is no stranger to golfing success. These three great sportsmen represent the very best of sporting achievement," he said.
The Open has total prize money of £2m, and Bushmills say they will grant the tournament winner the 'Freedom of the Old Bushmills Distillery'.
"I am also going to place a bottle containing a special blend of Bushmills Irish Whiskey in a bespoke cabinet, handmade from oak that is used in the whiskey making process.
"That bottle will have pride-of-place right here at the distillery and it will only ever be opened by the winner himself," added Mr Egan.
Around 90,000 people are expected to visit the north coast for the Open, which will see Northern Ireland's three major winners Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy compete against three-time major winner Padraig Harrington and reigning USPGA champ Keegan Bradley.
Earlier this month it was revealed that no title sponsor had been found for the competition despite its approaching date.