Next year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open will be played at the historic links of Lahinch on the west coast of Ireland, the European Tour have announced.
The 2019 tournament will be hosted by Paul McGinley in the first week of July, with the event again being part of the Rolex Series on next season’s European Tour schedule.
It will be the first time in the 91-year history of the Irish Open that it will be held at the County Clare venue, with Ryder Cup-winning captain McGinley taking over as tournament host from Rory McIlroy.
McGinley will be the first in a new rotation of hosts which include Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell from 2020 onwards.
“Lahinch is one of Ireland’s truly iconic links golf courses and I am delighted to be taking the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open there,” said McGinley. “Embedded in the history of Irish amateur golf, as well as in the hearts of our many international visitors, it now deservedly gets the opportunity to showcase itself on the world stage.
“We are very proud of our great links courses in Ireland and Lahinch has evolved to rank as one of the very best. It will challenge some of the game’s best players to produce skill, creativity and a mindset rarely tested in professional tournaments.
“The club and the community have left no stone unturned in embracing the idea of hosting the tournament and I look forward to working with them over the next 14 months to put in place a tournament that will honour a great venue, town and people in what is a stunning part of the Irish southwestern coastline.”
European Tour chief executive, Keith Pelley, added: “I am delighted to announce today that the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open will be played at Lahinch Golf Club, continuing our desire to take the tournament to Ireland’s great links.
“We extend our grateful thanks to everyone at the golf club, the local authorities in County Clare and everyone in the south west of Ireland for coming together to make this happen.
“The tournament is one of the great and historic events on the European Tour, raised to a new level in recent times by the commitment of our title sponsor Dubai Duty Free and its executive vice chairman and CEO Colm McLoughlin, alongside the support of our own Rory McIlroy in recent years.
“Now the hosting baton has been handed over to Paul McGinley and it would be remiss of me not to mention the hard and meticulous work that he has personally put in throughout this selection process. We look forward to working with him, and everyone involved with the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, in 2019.”
McLoughlin said: “We are happy with the choice of Lahinch Golf Club as the venue. Lahinch is a very well-known and popular links course with a 125-year history and has seen many of the greats play there including Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson and Greg Norman as well as all the Irish golfers including Paul McGinley.
“In the meantime, we are looking forward to another great tournament this year at Ballyliffin and think that the players are going to enjoy this equally spectacular golf course in Donegal.”
Lahinch Golf Club celebrated its 125th anniversary last year and has been a regular host of the South of Ireland Championship, an amateur golf tournament which began in 1895 that has been won by the likes of McGinley, Clarke and McDowell.