It’s a star studded cast this week at Royal County Down, site of the 2015 Irish Open. Competing this week are: Darren Clarke, Luke Donald, Victor Dubuisson, Ernie Els, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Paul McGinley, Lee Westwood and last week’s BWM winner Byeong Hun An.
Of course, the event is hosted this week by Rory McIlroy, and the Open will be benefitting McIlroy’s foundation. McIlroy is grouped with Rickie Fowler and Martin Kaymer the first two rounds – not too shabby.
McIlroy announced Wednesday that if he wins the $638,000 first prize, he’ll donate every cent to his charity.
“The Irish Open for me for the last few years was becoming a bit of a….I don’t want to say a pain, but it didn’t quite fit in the schedule or I just wasn’t enjoying it as much as I could,” said McIlroy.
“And then the European Tour approached us about getting involved and we thought it was a perfect way to really kickstart the foundation and really start to help other people because of who I am and what I do.
“So honestly, what I want to get out of it this year is just to raise a lot of money for the foundation for the cancer fund, and ultimately if I play well, and if I do well in the tournament, then all the money that I earn is going to go towards that as well.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) May 26, 2015
TV Coverage: Golf Channel is offering no shortage of coverage to see Rickie and Rory re-uniting at Royal County Down (remember the 2007 Walker Cup). Thursday the network is live from 3-8 a.m. ET, with a second live window from 11-1 p.m ET. Friday is one window from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET. The weekend is live too, with Saturday coverage starting at 8:30 a.m. and Sunday commencing at 8 a.m.