Mourne Golf Club News

January 2024

By Paul Gallagher

A week-long festival of golf in Newcastle just got even better after news that four-time major winner Rory McIlroy will tee it up at the Amgen Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club from September 12-15, 2024.

In something of a homecoming for McIlroy, who was a regular on the Newcastle links s during his formative years and early professional career. He and his foundation were also the tournament hosts when the Irish Open was last played at Royal County Down in 2015 when Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen defied the elements to receive the trophy from McIlroy.

McIlroy (34), who in 2023 claimed his fifth Race to Dubai title after topping the season-long standings, will return to his home county where he honed his skills as a junior and to the venue where he represented Great Britain & Ireland at the 2007 Walker Cup.

The Northern Irishman grew up in Holywood, less than an hour from the prestigious venue, and he will bid for a second Irish Open crown after claiming victory at The K Club in 2016.

“Since making my first appearance at the Irish Open nearly 20 years ago, it has been such a special tournament to play in, but it will be doubly so for me this time round,” said McIlroy.

“I’m incredibly excited to have the opportunity play in this year’s Irish Open at a venue so close to home. Royal County Down is a fantastic venue and I still have some great memories from the 2007 Walker Cup.

“The crowds are always so supportive of all the Irish golfers taking part and the atmosphere is unlike any other we have at a golf tournament. Time and time again the fans prove that they are some of the best in the world and I can’t wait to see them out in support of us again.”

McIlroy started his 2024 season in fine fashion, finishing runner-up in his first start of the year at the Dubai Invitational and then successfully defended his Hero Dubai Desert Classic title a week later, winning the tournament for a record fourth time.

McIlroy will join former Irish Open winner, Major Champion and Ryder Cup star Shane Lowry at Newcastle in an event which assumes a key position on the DP World Tour’s 2024 Global Schedule as part of the ‘Back 9’.

The ‘Back 9’ encompasses nine of the Tour’s most historic tournaments and national opens, running from August to October and will give members their final opportunities to secure their playing rights for 2025 and advance to the season-ending ‘DP World Tour Play-Offs’.

This will be the fifth time Royal County Down stages the national open. The inaugural Irish Open was played in 1927 at Portmarnock when Scot George Duncan denied Henry Cotton before moving to RCD the following year when England’s Ernest Whitcome won. In pre-World War II years, it was also held in Newcastle in 1935 when Whitcome won for a second time and Arthur Lees triumphed in 1935.

In more recent times Kjeldsen won with a two-under 282 aggregate to deny England’s Eddie Pepperell and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger.

The Irish Open is one of the world’s most illustrious national opens, with a list of former champions that includes Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Pádraig Harrington, Colin Montgomerie, José María Olazábal, Bernhard Langer and Sam Torrance.

Tickets are selling fast for the September event and fans are urged to act now to avoid disappointment. In addition to General Admission, limited Premium Experience options are still available with The Ballroom and Green on 18 packages. Ticket+ options are also available for purchase. Click HERE to find out more.

Mourne Golf Club will play a key part in tournament week for the Amgen Irish Open and full bar and catering facilities will be available for members and visitors with the appropriate tickets and passes. Mourne Golf Club will also have entertainment and live music in the evenings. More information to follow.


Something of a homecoming for Rory McIlroy

Graphic Courtesy DP World Tour