Fota Island Resort to Host & Sponsor 2014 Irish Open

By Community | January 14, 2014

The European Tour has revealed the 2014 Irish Open will return to Cork for the first time in 12 years after confirming the Fota Island Resort will become an Official Sponsor as well as host venue of the Championship.

The 2014 Irish Open will return to Cork for the first time in 12 years after confirmation that the magnificent Fota Island Resort, which was recently purchased by Chinese investors The Kang Group Worldwide, 

The Irish Open was last played in Cork – the country’s most southerly county – in 2002 when Denmark’s Søren Hansen took the title at Fota Island. The Resort, hich was recently purchased by Chinese investors The Kang Group Worldwide, also hosted the Championship in 2001, when Colin Montgomerie won the last of his three Irish Opens.

The presence of The European Tour’s new generation of stars, led by Rory McIlroy, will deliver a significant boost to the region, and the World Number Six and double Major Champion is looking forward to the challenge of Fota Island’s Deerpark Course from June 19-22.

Jonathan Woods, Chief Executive Officer at Fota Island Resort, said: “Since the last two occasions Fota Island Resort hosted the Irish Open, back to back in 2001 and 2002, so many significant investments and developments have taken place at the Resort itself and with our golf courses and facilities.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to reintroduce the players, the public and the world’s media to Fota Island Resort, and to what is now a world-class, international golf venue. The Irish Open will be an enormously important event for tourism in Cork and the surrounding area, which is not just an added bonus for Fota Island Resort but for the whole region too.”

Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar described the Irish Open as ‘a pivotal event for sport and tourism in Ireland’.

“Golf is one of Ireland’s most important tourist activities. Around 160,000 overseas visitors take part in golf during their visit to Ireland every year, contributing €202 million to the economy. The Irish Open is a great advertisement for Irish golf, showcasing our beautiful scenery, world class courses and facilities and warm and friendly people. And this year we can look forward to watching the event at one of Ireland’s most beautiful golf courses in Fota,” Minister Varadkar said.

With more than 400 courses on the island, including over 30% of the world’s links courses, golf is a significant draw for overseas visitors to Ireland and Fáilte Ireland view the Irish Open as a significant vehicle for marketing the country to golfers all around the world.

George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said: “It has been a busy few days in Ireland and we are delighted to make this announcement regarding the support of Fota Island, Cork’s City and County Councils as well as BAM Contractors.

“Having hosted two Irish Opens at the Fota Island Resort, we know the Irish Open will have a fitting home at this superb venue.

“The new owners of the Fota Island Resort – The Kang Family – have impressive ambitions.  By securing the 2014 Irish Open they will now be able to showcase their resort and the beautiful surroundings of County Cork to the world via The European Tour’s global television network.”