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Only Thursday tickets remain for Royal County Down golf spectacle

THE European Tour has announced that this year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation has sold out on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with only Thursday tickets now remaining for golf fans wanting to catch the world’s best golfers in action at Royal County Down next week (May 28-31).

The last time the Irish Open was held in Northern Ireland was in 2012 when Royal Portrush became the first European Tour event to sell out in advance – and now it’s only a matter of time before this year’s eagerly anticipated tournament emulates that amazing feat.

Remaining tickets for the opening day’s play on Thursday are expected to sell out very quickly so the European Tour is urging golf fans to ensure that they check availability online and NOT to turn up at the gate without a ticket.

The Tour also reminded fans that they can check out their golfing heroes at Tuesday’s Practice Day (£10 per ticket) and Wednesday’sPro Am (£15 per ticket).

The success of Royal Portrush in 2012 was always going to be a hard act to follow but we are delighted to report that this year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, hosted by the Rory Foundation, has now sold out on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” said Antonia Beggs, the European Tour’s Championship Director for the Irish Open.

Now, it looks like it’s only a matter of time before Thursday’s play sells out too and then it will be time to get down to business and enjoy what is sure to be an unmissable event and one of the best Irish Opens ever.

This year’s event has surpassed all of our initial expectations and much of it is down to the support of one man in particular… and that is the World number one Rory McIlroy.  The star-studded field that Rory has managed to attract to Royal County Down and the personal drive and commitment that he has displayed to make this tournament the best that it can be has really been beyond amazing,” she added.

“We cannot stress enough that, whilst we welcome visitors to Newcastle to enjoy the festivities that have been put in place around the event, it is very important that people don’t turn up at the gate without a ticket, as they won’t get in and they will only cause unnecessary delay and congestion at the entrance point.

So rather than turn up and be disappointed, we would urge fans to catch their golf heroes in action at the Practice Day on Tuesday or Pro Am on Wednesday.  Both days are great fun in themselves and offer a fantastic opportunity to see the best players in the world in action up close,” concluded Antonia.

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell said: “We said from the beginning that the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open promised to be an unmissable tournament – and today’s confirmation that it has now sold out for Friday, Saturday and Sunday is proof that golf fans agree.

Royal County Down will play host to a ‘who’s who’ of golfing greats, led by world number one and four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, who is of course hosting the tournament on behalf of his charity. Northern Ireland’s other Major winners Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell will also tee off, joining a field of many of golf’s most exciting names, including five of the world’s top 20 players and five former world number onesThe superb line-up, combined with the track record Northern Ireland has already established by hosting the record breaking 2012 Irish Open, has once again put the tournament on track to completely sell out.

An Open Fringe Festival will offer the expected 80,000 spectators a packed schedule of events, entertainment and opportunities to experience the County Down region before, during and after the golfing actionNewcastle and the surrounding area really looks fantastic as it prepares to welcome the golfers and spectators. A lot of hard work has clearly gone on behind the scenes to make that happen and I want to congratulate everyone who has been involved.”

Dubai Duty Free’s Executive Vice Chairman Colm McLoughlin said:  “This year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is set to be one of the best, if not the best, ever and we are delighted to be the title sponsor. 

“It’s been a pleasure to work alongside the European Tour and the Rory Foundation to help make this event as good as it can possibly be, and the public have responded accordingly with another sell-out event now on the cards in Northern Ireland.  And what a spectacle lies ahead for all those lucky enough to get their hands on a ticket.  It really promises to be an unforgettable tournament.

“Finally, we must pay tribute to Rory McIlroy, a remarkable young man whose drive and support, in the midst of an incredibly busy schedule, has amazed us all.  It’s not hard to see why Rory has reached the pinnacle of his sport when you get a chance to witness him in action first hand,” concluded Mr McLoughlin.

The last remaining tickets for Thursday and tickets for the Practice Day (Tuesday) and Pro Am (Wednesday) can be snapped up

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With more than 80,000 spectators expected in total at the event, organisers are pulling out all the stops to ensure that visitors enjoy a safe and smooth journey and that people living in the area can go about their daily business.

Free car parking has been made available at two sites in the area – a ‘Park and Walk’ site in Donard Park and a ‘Park and Ride’ site in Northfield Park on the Castlewellan Road, with buses transferring spectators to the event every five minutes.

For information on how to get there, ticket-holders should click on while a full spectator guide can be downloaded at which also contains information on what’s happening in the area during the event.

For more information on accommodation offers and golf in Northern Ireland, spectators and visitors can check with info on what’s happening in and around the Mournes available or on

Finally, anyone travelling to the event and considering leaving their car at home is check out for a range of hassle-free and good value travel options.


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