Weekend sellout crowds cap unforgettable Irish Open

Photo: Getty images

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open reached capacity weekend crowds at Lahinch Golf Club, emulating the 2012 edition at Royal Portrush Golf Club by selling out both Saturday and Sunday.

The sold-out signs went out at the box office during Sunday’s final day, and ahead of the closing concert with Irish rock band Hermitage Green, as the sun came out and the spectators looked forward to a dramatic finale to the second Rolex Series event of the 2019 Race to Dubai.

With an energetic and passionate crowd on-hand, the stage had been set for a thrilling end to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, and when the last ticket into Lahinch Golf Club was sold, Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello was leading the way.

Hermitage Green were lined up to bring the event to a close in the Championship Village, bringing the curtain down on an event which turned Lahinch Golf Club and the surrounding areas into a festival of golf and entertainment.

Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, Colm McLoughlin, said: “That was another fantastic edition of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. I would like to thank the people of Co. Clare for their warmth, hospitality and engagement in this tournament which we are delighted to call The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

“This has been a wonderful week of sport, festivity and fun, there were sell-out crowds and a fantastic atmosphere both at the golf and in the village. Coming to this part of the world is like a homecoming for our operation as Shannon Duty Free was the very first Duty Free in the world, so County Clare has a very special place in our hearts.

“I would like to thank and congratulate Paul McGinley, Lahinch Golf Club, the European Tour, Clare County Council, the local community and all who worked so hard and partnered with us to make this tournament so special.”

A total of 11,083 fans turned out on Pro-Am day to watch pop star Niall Horan, Irish rugby legend Paul O’Connell and former Champion jockey AP McCoy among many other celebrities take on the famous Old Course at Lahinch.

The huge crowds continued to file through the gates on Thursday as 16,228 spectators descended on the sun-drenched links, while Friday’s second round saw crowds of 18,841. On Saturday, the venue reached full capacity and the Box Office closed midway through the day with 20,097 having come through the gates, before 20,477 people made it a sell-out once again on Sunday.

A festival of golf and entertainment has given the spectators plenty to smile about, with the Lahinch Live stage headlined on Friday by traditional Irish music legend Sharon Shannon, with Chasing Abbey playing on Friday and Hermitage Green headlining Sunday.

The Lifestyle Pavilion was also added to the Championship Village festivities for the first time and has proven a huge success, with fitness and nutrition author and social media influencer Dr Hazel Wallace (The Food Medic) headlining on Friday, before BEO Bites – a popular wellbeing and nutrition event hosted by County Clare natives Aoibhín Garrihy and Sharon Connellan – took centre stage on Saturday.



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