Rory McIlroy to vie for Dubai Duty Free Irish Open glory

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland. (AP file)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland. (AP file)

Dubai - John Catlin, the 2020 champion, and Aaron Rai, the runner-up, are both back for the event again

By Nick Tarratt/Fairway Views

Published: Tue 29 Jun 2021, 7:59 PM

This week the eyes of the golfing world will be on the €3 million Dubai Duty Free Irish Open (July 1-July 4) which will take place at the 7,250 yards Par 72 Mount Juliet Estate in County Kilkenny, Ireland.

Some of the world’s best golfers have won this iconic event over the years. Ben Crenshaw (US, 1976), Hubert Green (US, 1977), Ken Brown (England, 1978), Sam Torrance (Scotland, 1981 & 1995), John O’Leary (Ireland, 1982), Seve Ballesteros (Spain, 1983, 1985 & 1986), Bernhard Langer (Germany, 1984, 1987 & 1994), Ian Woosnam (Wales, 1988 & 1989), Jose-Maria Olazabal (Spain, 1990), Sir Nick Faldo (England, 1991, 1992 & 1993), Colin Montgomerie (Scotland, 1996, 1997 & 2001) and Sergio Garcia (Spain, 1999) have their names on the winner’s board.

Is there a better list of champions for any golf tournament in the world, golf major or otherwise?

It very much became a must-watch event in the 1980s with all the stars of the European Tour and the world of golf competing and very often winning. The iconic Portmarnock Golf Club, Ireland, has been the event’s spiritual home, having hosted it on 19 occasions.

This week some of the finest modern players will vie for the glory.

John Catlin, the 2020 champion, and Aaron Rai, the runner-up, are both back for the event again.

Rory McIlroy, the 2016 winner, will be a marquee player alongside Irish golfers Shane Lowry, winner as an amateur of the title in 2009 at County Louth, Leinster, Northern Ireland, as well as major winners Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell.

Also in the tournament is the recent winner of the Scandinavian Mixed, Jonathan Caldwell.

A grand total of 16 players from the island of Ireland will be in the field.

The event is week 20 on the 42-event 2021 Race to Dubai which will culminate at the end of this season with the $9 million DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, on Earth course, Jumeirah Golf Estates (November 18–21).

Emirates Airline are an official partner of the 2021 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

The event will see only a limited number of spectators due to Covid-19, while a number of tickets will be “donated to key frontline workers in recognition of their dedicated work throughout the pandemic”.

Advice from ‘Fairway Views,’ watch it on the TV, no better place to watch!


PGA Tour

July 1–4

Rocket Mortgage Classic

Venue: Detroit Golf Club, Detroit, Mi, US

Purse: $7.5 million


July 1–4

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

Venue: Mount Juliet Estate, County Kilkenny, Ireland

Purse: €3 million

European Tour on TV this week on Dubai Sports Channel (UAE Local Times):

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open:

Thursday 1600–2100

Friday 1600–2100

Saturday 1600–2030

Sunday 1600–2030


July 1-4

Volunteers of America Classic

Venue: Old American Golf Club, The Colony, Texas, US

Purse: $1.5 million

PGA Champions Tour

July 2–4

Dick’s Sporting Goods Open

Venue: En-Joie GC, Endicott, NY, US

Purse: $2,050,000

Ladies European Tour

June 30–July 3

Big Green Egg Open

Venue: Rosendaelsche Golf Club, The Netherlands

Purse: €200,000

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