The total prize money on offer at next month’s Irish Open will be down fifty per cent on last year, after the event failed to secure a main sponsor for 2011.
Telecommunications company 3 had been the sponsor for the last few years but following their withdrawal the fund will now be £1.35m. However, European Tour officials are confident that a new sponsor will be found for next year’s event.
The fact that Rory McIlroy will play this year is a major boost to the end. It will take place at Killarney from 28 to 31 July, with Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington also confirmed.
“There is a lot of sponsor interest but not in time to make it work this year,” said European Tour chief executive George O’Grady.
“We’re looking for a long-term sponsor and think we will get it.”